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Our Story

Residents of the Treasure Valley have long known Zamzows as the expert garden and pet supply store, but few know its rich history. Founded in 1933, it all started with a train stop gone wrong, when brothers August and Carl Zamzow stowed away on a train going from Minnesota to California. When the train stopped in Meridian, August hopped off to get some lunch for them, but before he could jump back on, the train took off. Stranded in Meridian, August quickly found work and established roots. He soon married Carmalita House, who later became known as the infamous Grandma Z.

During the hardest years of the Depression, Carmelita Zamzow faced some very difficult times with her husband, August. In addition to losing a child to the Spanish Flu, they were forced to sell their farm and start over with their remaining four children. They chose to invest in a feed store in Boise that they named “Zamzows”. For an ambitious woman like Carmelita, the opportunity to help the animals of Southern Idaho sparked her passion. Using formulas from The University of Idaho as a starting point, she began to develop feeds and products that she made by hand.  She used the highest quality, local ingredients. She was a pioneer in the mindset that what we feed our animals makes the biggest difference in their health and longevity, and she insisted that the products provided value to customers. Grandma lived to be almost 105 years old and was a trusted advisor to the company until the day she died. Today, the “Grandma Z’s” brand, and the products that carry its name, honor her passion for the highest quality ingredients, animal health, and value.

Zamzows Today

Jim Zamzow is the eldest grandson of the founders of Zamzows Inc. and grew up working in the family business. He and his brother, Rick, expanded the company's focus from fuel and animal feed to a lawn, garden, and pet superstore. In 1990, Jim became the media spokesman for Zamzows on radio and television commercials and has become a household name in the Treasure Valley. Jim is a licensed airplane and helicopter pilot and a fifth-degree black belt Renshi in the international school of Karate Doshinkan. He's a devoted husband to his wife, Faye, and a loving father to his two children, Jos and Callie, who are now co-CEOs of Zamzows Inc.

The Business Wisdom of the Zamzow Family

That Reminds Me of a Story is a collection of stories telling the history of the Zamzow family and Zamzows, Inc. Each story contains a lesson about strong values and good business practices, which are what has allowed the Zamzow family to continue to grow their company through more than three generations.