Longtime dog groomers Lisa Schacher and Melissa Grife had spent decades beautifying the pets of Columbus area residents and dreaming about the possibility of opening their own shop. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
The global health crisis might have given the two a nudge in the right direction. The two had never thought too seriously about pursuing their own shop, but when the pandemic resulted in them essentially being furloughed like so many others, they found themselves unwilling to sit idle.
“We wanted to work,” Grife said.
So after a few conversations, Bark Avenue Grooming was born. The two friends open up their dog-grooming shop at 1367 33rd Ave. in Columbus on May 4 and haven’t looked back.
“We just threw some names out there and that one really stuck because we’re right on 33rd Avenue,” Grife said.
Between the two of them, the duo has about 52 years of experiencing grooming pets. They spent the last 22 years doing it together at another Columbus business.
“And it was in a tiny, tiny room,” Schacher said. “We enjoy it, and our space is 10 times bigger. It’s beautiful.”
Bark Avenue is essentially a full-service dog salon. Price ranges by the size of the dog, but they can be pampered with a nice fur cut, pedicures and “the whole works.”
Despite opening in the midst of a pandemic, the duo said business has been quite strong.
“It was actually a good time for us to open our business. We’ve been doing really good, staying really busy,” Schacher said. “We probably do anywhere between 16-18 dogs a day."
Animals aren’t just their business, they’re an essential part of their lives. Schacher has two golden retrievers, while Grife goes home to eight cats she rescued and two dogs. She has a Chihuahua that is fully hers, while she has a German Shepard she watches for a friend regularly that is like family.
“I just have a love for animals. I was always recusing them and my parents would get so mad at me for always bringing them home,” she recalled. “There’s just a joy they bring. It’s fun working with animals; I couldn’t see myself any other place but with animals.”
Bark Avenue Grooming is open from 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. It can be reached at 402-563-BARK (2275).
“Everybody has been so happy and loves seeing the dogs when they walk in,” Grife said. “They love the wide-open concept and being able to see all of the dogs.”
Their goal is to make sure people leave grinning and the dogs have their tails shaking.
“We take pride in when the owners come in and smile and the dogs are happy, and their tails wag,” Schacher said. “That’s what we want.”
Matt Lindberg is the managing editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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