Get to Know NSB’s Specialty Pet Store

When you shop at Cap’n Lu’s you can feel confident that you’re getting the highest quality pet food on the beachside in New Smyrna Beach! 

Inside Look with Cap’n Lu’s

Q: Tell us the story behind opening your pet shop. What inspired you to open in New Smyrna Beach and how did you come up with the name?

A: My last dog, Tony, passed from cancer and at the time I was clueless about animal health and didn’t even know dogs could get cancer. I later learned that 50 percent of dogs that live past 10 years will develop cancer and most of those will die from cancer. The main culprit is cheap kibble that contains fillers, by-products and other harmful ingredients that are all allowed by the FDA and AAFCO. When I rescued Capone and Lulu, I started paying more attention to what I was feeding them and now look at the ingredients in the products instead of the packaging and marketing materials. 

I was inspired to open Cap’n Lu’s (named after Capone and Lulu) after seeing the lack of quality pet foods available on beachside. I live two blocks from the store and would walk Capone and Lulu by the empty space almost every day and look inside – I started planning to open the store and six months later we opened! Now you don’t have to cross the bridge to find quality food, treats and toys for your dogs and cats. 

Q: How long have you been open?

A: We opened November 17, 2021 – almost a year and it’s flown by! Stay tuned for our 1 year anniversary party announcement! 

Q: Do Capone and Lulu ever make cameos at the shop?

A: YES! We’ve had people stop in just to say hello and they accompany me at events around town. They love having visitors and get along with (almost) all the dogs that come in. If we ever have a dog in the store that doesn’t get along well with others, I’ll take Cap and Lu in the back office so our customers can have a great experience without stressing about their dogs. 

Q: What sets you apart from other pet stores in the area? 

A: We focus on providing factual information to our customers and will take as much time as needed to go over all the options we have for your pets. We focus on your dog and cat’s overall health and well-being and we truly care about your dogs and cats. We are also big on educating ourselves on all the products we carry, as well as new products coming out. We follow the top animal nationalists for advice and we have numerous customers that have seen dramatic improvements in their pets, simply by changing their diets. We also have FREE DELIVERY anywhere on beachside in New Smyrna Beach. Capone and Lulu even make the deliveries with me and most of the time we’re able to deliver the same day your order is placed. 

Q: Do you have pet supplies for all types of animals or do you specialize in certain ones?

A: We carry supplies for dogs and cats, but are happy to special order other products if needed. We receive products weekly and use two distributors, so we have access to a wide range of animal products. 

Q: What are some of your most popular products and why?

A: The third largest category after food and treats is CBD. I use CBD for Capone and Lulu during storms and fireworks and it’s amazing. I wish I had known about CBD years ago. I had been using Benadryl or tranquilizers, which just knocked them out. CBD relieves their anxiety without making them drowsy. It can also be used for overall well-being, anxiety from car rides, joint and hip pain and we even have a version for cats that has all those benefits plus urinary support. 

Q: What is something most people don’t know about your business?

A: I take great pride in being a Navy veteran-owned small business. As far as our products, just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it has to cost a fortune. While a raw diet can be costly for a larger dog, even one raw meal a week has a lot of benefits. We also carry kibble that is much higher in quality than “prescription” foods at an even lower price. 

Q: What do you feed your dogs?

A: I would honestly be fine feeding my dogs any of the foods we carry and have fed them several of the lines we have available. I have fed them Farmina, Stella and Chewys, Primal, Victor, Acana and Fromm. They are currently enjoying Orijen Six Fish kibble and Open Farm freeze dried raw. They eat a mostly raw diet but I supplement it with kibble. They also get Ultra Oil, Earth Animal Nature’s Protection flea and tick internal powder and Earth Animal Allergy Relief. Ultra Oil is hempseed, anchovies and sardines (with no fish smell) and has omega acids, which are great for hip and joint health. Earth Animal Nature’s Protection internal powder is a mixture of all-natural herbs such as neem, hawthorne and other natural ingredients that pests loathe. The odor is not detectable to humans but fleas, ticks and mosquitoes hate the smell. 

I have not given Capone or Lulu any prescription flea and tick medications since starting this product and they have not had any fleas! I also use Wondercide flea and tick spray in my yard for mosquitoes and on myself when I go fishing – it’s all natural, just like all our flea, tick and grooming products. Come in and we can discuss what is best for your best friends! 

Q: What exactly is the special rescue program you offer?

A: Our frequent buyer program is maintained by a young company called Astro. Instead of the old punch cards, everything is now online. Astro has teamed up with many of our vendors to provide a free box of great kibble, frozen raw, supplements and treats for anyone who has recently rescued a dog or cat. There are no strings attached – this is a great way to introduce your new pet to high quality foods and for us to get to know our new customers. The rescue doesn’t have to be from a shelter – even taking in a stray or someone else’s dog will qualify you for the program. Be sure to ask about it next time you’re in and we can show you all the great products that are available to your rescue. 

Q: What would your customers say they love most about Cap’n Lu’s?

A: The great customer service they receive! We know most of our customers by name – they are our friends, family and neighbors. I appreciate the locals of NSB and greatly rely on their business. We are always willing to make special orders and take time to discuss your pets’ needs. We also have a play area in the store so your pets can play with us while you shop. 

Q: Do you have any exciting plans for the future that you want our readers to know about?

A: Yes! We are having a tasting put on by Sugar Works Distillery on October 6, a fundraiser for Sophie’s Circle on October 8, NSB Brewery will be here in late October pouring some October brews and ciders, and we are a major sponsor of the Smyrna Surfari Club’s Spooktakular Surf Contest, which will be held October 29 right at Flagler Avenue. Come out to see the costume contest and horse race right on the beach! We also have a monthly Doga (dog yoga) and we only ask for a contribution to Sophie’s Circle or to purchase a bag of food for them, which we’ll deliver to them for their food pantry. 

My building is filled with all local owners and most first time business owners who also rely on local business like me, including a physical therapist, a fellow Veteran-owned E-bike shop called Pedego, Caffe Vessuvio’s and a great chiropractor. We’re planning on having monthly events with all kinds of free entertainment and fun for the whole family! 


Owner: Michael DeNato –

(386) 957-3032 | | Instagram: @cap_n_lus

701 E 3rd Ave. Ste. 1 | New Smyrna Beach 32169 

Store Hours: Monday – Friday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Saturday: 8 a.m.- 12 p.m. | Sunday: Closed 

All photos taken by: Kelsey Walters

Tiffany Evers is the editor and co-owner of East Coast Current magazine. In 2014 she was recognized by Editor & Publisher Magazine as one of the “25 Under 35” innovators in the newspaper industry. She currently serves on the Chair of the Recreational and Cultural Services Advisory Board for the City of Edgewater.

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