By Megan Kelley
We all have dreams, dreams for ourselves that often times go unfulfilled under one circumstance or another. But for recently retired officer of the Lake Orion Police Department, Chris Mires, his dream of owning his own business is one he’s never really let go of.
“The fire to have my own business, it’s been there for as far back (as I remember),” Mires said. “Literally I remember being a teenager and almost buying a pizzeria instead of going to college.”
After being on the force for 16 years, Mires retired from the LOPD to put his eggs in a vastly different basket, pet cremation and funeral services.
With extensive research combined with knowing what he enjoys and is good at, Mires found the company Pet Passages, North America’s largest provider of pet funeral and cremation services. Each Pet Passages location is individually owned and operated with the goal of keeping the focus on the pet and pet parent rather than stockholders or investors.
“I wanted a service business that takes care of people and can’t be replaced with an app,” Mires said. “This is a service business that people are going to need last week, this week, next week and next month.”
Mires opened Pet Passages in Lake Orion about a month ago hoping to offer a local option for grieving pet parents and provide a dignified way for pet owners to say a loving goodbye to their companions.
“The pet industry has grown tremendously over the last 20 years and is still growing and that’s because people now more than ever consider pets as part of the family,” Mires said. “I’m one of those people too.”
Even before this, nearly 20 years ago, Mires had made an attempt to start his own business by opening a coffee/catering company in Rochester Hills that ultimately didn’t work out.
“Most people that end up successful business owners don’t end up successful on their first try,” Mires said. “So I didn’t let the dream die. It’s always been in me.”
Being an officer for the LOPD, Mires is used to handling difficult situations in a compassionate way. With that transferable skill, along with taking what he had learned from his previous business venture, Mires is sure he has it right this time.
“This business is definitely something that’s going to succeed, it already has in Livonia, it’s already making a difference,” said Mires. “There isn’t a local service where people can bring their pet to or we can respond to where you get this level of service.”
Mires opened Pet Passages in June of this year just a few weeks after he had retired from the LOPD. Since then he has poured his heart and soul into the business answering calls at all hours of the night to pick up deceased pets, handling the cremation as well as their funeral service.
The service Pet Passages offers extends further than just funeral services and cremation. Pet Passages also offers memorialization, bereavement support and various other services at no additional cost.
Pet Passages is located at 4577 S. Lapeer Rd, Suite I and can be reached via phone at 248-499-8446. Online: www.lakeorion.mi.petpassages.com.