How We Started
Felix & Oscar continues to serve as a destination hot spot in Northern Virginia since its inception back in October of 2007. Born out of necessity for better
health through nutrition and knowledge by the original founders, Steve & Diana Greiner, their story can be found below.
As animal lovers, Anthony Roberts and myself (Matthew O'Leary) never expected to own a pet store of our own. In 2002, our bestest buddy boy Sammy suffered a
urinary tract blockage that almost took him away at the age of two. After a life saving emergency surgery, (thank you forever, Kingstowne Cat Clinic!) Sammy was
put on a dry, prescription based diet. While it did help with his kidneys, he gained weight over the next few years, and eventually developed serious allergies
to many typical proteins. We happened across Felix & Oscar around 2008, and the wonderful owners and team shared their knowledge regarding higher quality wet
foods that would keep Sammy’s kidneys functioning normally, plus unique proteins to minimize his allergies and inflammation. With three kitties at this time
(Sammy, Lilly and Hank), we saw all of our cats become healthier, with shiny coats, more energy, and a trend to a more ideal weight. We continued to learn more
with each trip to Felix & Oscar, where we were always welcomed as friends instead of customers.
In 2011, our youngest, Hank, decided to run for the US Senate as an independent, and when the media picked up on this, Anthony and I helped him put together a
full on campaign. Felix & Oscar was happy to host us for meet & greets with the public, and a number of other campaign events (especially since Hank was donating
all funds to support animal rescue). Hank came in 3rd in the race, and retired from public service after raising tens of thousands for many rescue groups, all
while helping save countless lives from all across the globe.
After the campaign ended, Steve & Diana convinced me to come work at Felix & Oscar, a welcome change after many years of working in the print and graphic design
industry. As a customer, I loved everything about the store, including being able to see the dedication and desire from every team member to help us and countless
others. Now, as an employee, I learned very quickly just how hard every team member works to help offer the very best for everyone’s pet to live a healthier and
happier life. As my employers, I saw first-hand just how hard Steve and Diana worked every single day, in every aspect of the business: keeping the team updated
with research and education, product changes and recalls, production and manufacturing struggles, business management, sales and promotions, and always making
time for their many customers (while remembering so much about each of them and their pets!).
From the first day I started, I did my best to work as if the store was my own, and to follow the guidance from Steve & Diana. I realized how different the store,
the environment, the team, and the customers were from a typical retail setting. Everyone who walks through the doors shares a common bond of a love for our pets,
and understands just how important they are as our family members. This was my community, and both the team and the customers became a large, extended family for
me, which only increased my desire to do even more.
Steve & Diana eventually decided to retire but their biggest goal was to keep Felix & Oscar going, as they knew it was more necessary than ever (especially with
giant corporations spending untold millions on advertising, "research", and production of terrible, feed-grade products as better for our pets, while dozens of
smaller companies with innovative leaders push the envelope to feed and help our pets with ingredients even superior to the human side at our grocery stores!).
Over the course of a few years, they increased my responsibilities and I handled more and more of the business tasks. For sentimental reasons, Steve & Diana
wanted to keep Felix & Oscar Inc., so Anthony and I created HSLBM, LLC (for Hank, Sammy, Lilly, Beamer, and Max) and took the trade name of Felix & Oscar.
In 2019 Anthony and I officially became the new owners of Felix & Oscar, and our goal has and will always stay singular and true to the original vision of
Steve & Diana - to do all we can to keep your pets happy and healthy for their entire lives. In 2020, Anthony and I held our bestest boy Sammy in our arms as he
took his final breath, but we knew without a doubt that thanks to Felix & Oscar, he lived a wonderful 21 and a half years, and we saw first hand just how
much his nutrition played such a critical role in his life and longevity. We at Felix & Oscar will do everything we can to help give that same gift to every
animal owner who comes through our doors.
Matthew & Anthony (and Beams, Max, Bass, Mousie, and Johnny - and always in loving memory of Hank, Sammy, and Lilly)
The Original Story
The story actually began in 1988 with a cat named Mealy. Mealy was a feral kitten born on a farm in Iowa and taken to her new home in Virginia by us, Steve and
Diana. Mealy grew up surrounded by other critters, including Daisy, the white boxer with one blue eye and brown eye, and Sam the wonderful chocolate lab.
Throughout the years, Mealy was introduced to even more furry friends that loved to visit our house including Isis, the gorgeous terrier with ice blue eyes,
Tiggi who wanted nothing more than to befriend Mealy, and Rosie, the playful boxer mix.
As the years passed and Mealy grew older, Mealy started suffering from kidney disease. In 2001 we were advised to pay closer attention to her diet, focusing on
higher quality foods. It was at this time that our research into pet food began and we were appalled by some of the ingredients found in pet food. Many of the
food products are highly processed and artificial foods, composed of unnatural ingredients, such as soy meal, artificial colorings and flavorings, as well as
harmful preservatives such as BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin. They are loaded with fillers and other unhealthy ingredients such as corn gluten, wheat gluten, meat
by-products and artificial preservatives, flavors or colors. Many of the meat by-products are from slaughter houses and not considered fit for human
We asked ourselves, if we humans would not eat these things, why would we consider feeding these things to our pets? As our favorite feline became more ill, we
went in search of quality foods that focused on providing her with healthy, wholesome and natural ingredients. The best diets for both dogs and cats are
natural ones, coming as close as possible to the diet they would eat in the wild.
In the end, Mealy succumbed to her disease in 2002, but she was with us for 14 wonderful years. After her passing we vowed to do as much as we possibly could to
feed any future furry friends with only the best diets available. In 2003, we adopted our two new boys, Felix and Oscar from the Fairfax County Humane Society.
They are now thriving and spend their days playing, relaxing and excitedly watching the wild birds that frequent our yard.
All of these wonderful animals that have touched our lives over the years have inspired us to open a pet food store that focuses on sharing our knowledge and
selling only the best, healthy, high-quality, holistic and organic pet food with natural wholesome ingredients. And a healthy diet promotes a healthy life!
Please visit us at Felix & Oscar to check out for yourself our quality foods. And don't forget to bring your four-legged family members as they are very welcome
in our store.
Steve, Diana, and Felix and Oscar