On August 3, Barks, Bones and Biscuits will officially open the doors of its new, 2500-square foot location in Mint Hill Festival. “Customers will see a totally different facility!” promises owner Robyn Kline of the new store situated in the space closest to Showmars. Although still officially Barks, Bones and Biscuits, the signage above the door – PAWZ with a paw print in place of the “A” – sums up all the service Robyn plans to offer in the new location. In addition to her already-famous bakery and boutique, Robyn will be bringing state-of-the-art grooming technology to Mint Hill.
The idea for Barks, Bones and Biscuits began when Robyn and her daughter stopped at a canine bakery uptown to purchase some treats for their pug. Robyn had recently earned her business degree from Queen’s University, and with her love of baking, her daughter encouraged her to open a doggie bakery of her own. Robyn and her husband began to look into the idea of opening a canine bakery in their hometown of Mint Hill.
Barks, Bones and Biscuits debuted their baked goods for dogs in 2013 at Farmers Markets and AKC shows. Encouraged by their success, Robyn moved the company to a 700-square foot space off Lawyers Road. With a brick and mortar store, Barks, Bones and Biscuits expanded their inventory to include pet supplies and food.
“We grew fast, faster than anticipated,” says Robyn, who made what she figured would be her last move to a larger, 1000-square foot space. But another opportunity began to present itself for Robyn.
“As my customer base had grown, a lot of people were commenting on different situations that have occurred with groomers,” says Robyn. “They had their dogs groomed, and they weren’t happy with the way they were groomed or the way they were treated. I’ve heard so many different complaints and so many different issues that had come up, but you know, you really can’t say anything if you don’t know anything. And I knew nothing about grooming!”
When she set out to learn more about the grooming industry, Robyn was surprised to discover that many animal groomers are not educated or certified in any way. “A large chunk of the United States does not require a groomer to be licensed, certified or have any training whatsoever to set up a business,” says Robyn. “Anybody can say, ‘Hey that looks like fun, I want to do that, so let me set up a shop and call myself a groomer.’ The education’s not there, and the majority of time they are not CPR or First Aid Certified, so if something happens in the shop or a dog has a seizure, they wouldn’t know how to address those issues. The other thing that’s been happening a great deal in grooming shops is animal cruelty where you have animals being abused or mistreated, or they’re not getting the proper care they should get.”
In order to offer safe, high-quality grooming services to her customers, Robyn decided to go to grooming school. She completed a rigorous, hands-on program at South Charlotte Grooming School in January and went on to earn her CPR and First Aid Certifications. She also earned her AKC Safety Grooming Certification, which requires her shop to meet AKC standard and allows allow her to pursue her Masters in Grooming, the top level possible.
For Robyn, adding grooming to the menu of services she’s able to offer Mint Hill’s fur babies has been a welcome change. “I enjoy everybody else’s dogs and all the kisses and the slobbers and the nibbles,” she says. “I like it. I really, really like it. I can’t begin to tell you how much I like it. I actually like grooming more than baking.”
For Robyn, it’s all about providing the very best for her customers. “I wanted to be ahead of the game,” says Robyn. “I wanted to make sure everything I was doing was for the benefit of my customers and their babies, their four-legged pooches.”
In addition to the sense of security afforded by Robyn’s many certifications, the new 2500-square foot location in Matthews Festival will offer her customers state-of-the-art, top-notch technology that will make grooming their pets safe, comfortable and convenient.
Hydraulic electric tables that can be lowered to only 11” off the floor will lessen the probability of falls and injuries by eliminating the need for staff to lift animals onto tables and allowing for them to adjust the tables to the height they need. Barks, Bones and Biscuits’ grooming tables will be longer and wider than standard grooming tables and will be equipped with the “groomer’s helper,” which holds dogs securely in the position needed for grooming.
Barks, Bones and Biscuits will also be home to Mint Hill’s first and only doggie self-wash station. The self-wash station will provide everything you need to wash and dry your dog including pre-portioned and mixed shampoos and conditioners and wall-mounted vacuums. “Best of all, they leave the mess for me so they don’t have to do that cleanup at home,” says Robyn. For customers who have trouble getting their dogs to the groomer, Robyn plans to offer a pick up and drop off service.
Another thing Robyn is excited about is the new software she’ll be using to schedule appointments. Instead of calling the salon, leaving a message and waiting on a phone call back, customers will be able to schedule appointments quickly and easily using an app.
Of course, in addition to state-of-the-art grooming, Barks, Bones and Biscuits will still have their already-popular boutique and bakery. PAWZ offers everything from cookies to jerkies to birthday cakes to Robyn’s famous “woofles.” All of Barks, Bones and Biscuits baked goods for canines are all-natural with no added sugars or salts. Customers will also still be able to buy accessories and gifts for pet-lovers in the boutique.
Grooming, pet sitting, baked goods for dogs and a retail boutique: Barks, Bones and Biscuits will be the only store in Mint Hill to offer all of those things in one location. Barks, Bones and Biscuits caters mainly to dog-owners but also offers grooming services for cats and other small animals like rabbits.
As she eagerly anticipates her Grand Opening on August 3, Robyn is feeling both excited and overwhelmed. “I’m just wanting it to be one of the nicest here in Mint Hill,” says Robyn. “This is really something brought to Mint Hill that’s grown with Mint Hill, and I always vowed it was going to stay in Mint Hill. Me going the route that I did to offer all these types of services was for the benefit of Mint Hill and for the benefit of my customers because they know who we are, they know how we do business. When they come to my store, no matter what day it is, every day, they will get excellent customer service because I won’t accept anything less!”