If you’re in Llandudno your westie is in for a treat thanks to a new seafront boutique store for dogs.
Paul Hales and Kris Meredith have been busy this year with the opening of two unique little boutique shops located on the beautiful Llandudno Pier. While Kris has recently opened his own stunning Crystal store, Paul has been busy sourcing the most natural and healthy products for his dog shop, Pets on the Pier.
What inspired you to open your own doggy shop?
Having spent 25 years working in a corporate environment I was desperate to escape and do something on my own. In February I helped Kris set up a Crystal store on Llandudno pier, which he’d be passionate about for some time. Whilst helping him I thought about having my own unit, but couldn’t think of what I’d sell, until one day I looked down the pier and saw at least ten families, each with dogs and realised that’s what I needed to do! Within a month I’d put everything together and Pets on the Pier opened.
“Burt is the most joyous characterful westie you could ever wish to meet. Since the day we got him, we knew he was very special and what a gift he is.” – Paul Hales
“We also have our own branded natural range that’s called, approved by Burt, and as the name suggests, it’s treats that Burt loves including rabbit and wild boar, oh, and he’s also partial to venison and ostrich!” – Paul Hales
Who is your ideal customer?
Dog lovers! The unit is very small, so we’ve packed it with 100% natural dog treats, plus lots of dog toys for families who are on holiday without their furry companions but want to take gifts back for them. There are no stores locally that specialise in 100% natural dog treats, so they’ve been really well received by everybody visiting the pier.
Tell us about Burt!
Burt is the most joyous characterful Westie you could ever wish to meet. Since the day we got him, we knew he was a very special and what a gift he is. We have had many years watching him grow as he’s now nine and a half but still acts and looks like a puppy. He can be full of westietude and a stubborn monkey at times, but we wouldn’t change him for the world.
Burt brings us so much joy and he is very much like our son, he cares for us like we do for him, and we take him with us everywhere. He loves the beach and to run free and has to smell every blade of grass and wee on every lamppost. To have a Westie is far more than just owning a dog, Burt is like a little human and he knows us more than we know ourselves, he is spoilt but that’s okay as he’s been such a gift and one that keeps on giving every minute every day.
What kind of products can people expect when visiting your shop?
We have lots of 100% natural dog treats including ears, tracheas, hooves, antlers, bones, pizzles etc. We also have our own branded natural range that’s called ‘Approved By Burt’ and as the name suggests, it’s treats that Burt loves including rabbit and wild boar, oh and he’s also partial to venison and ostrich!
We have lots of toys, but they’re more unusual than many pet stores as we’ve specifically selected toys for water and sea themed stuffed toys such as fish, crabs, starfish, octopus, turtles etc.
Will you be doing online orders?
At the moment, no. We were lucky to have the Pets on The Pier name available across all social media, plus the domain name was also available, which we’ve sourced ready to set up a website. However, it’s been a lot of work setting up the store and we’re loving working there every day and meeting dog lovers. Hopefully later in the year we’ll have the time to properly invest in a website, but for now we’re really concentrating on making our store an amazing and friendly experience for dogs and their families.
What can you offer dog lovers that big high-street brands cannot?
Personally, I think the biggest difference is customer service. We’ve had so many lovely comments from customers who have really appreciated the time we’ve taken to speak to them and their dogs. Our unit is only 4 foot long by 3 foot wide, so we have to be selective with what we offer, but our customers have loved the natural treats and the fact that the vast majority of our treats are sourced from the same farm. We also stand out because of our unusual toys, the quality of the Miro and Makauri products we sell and of course the doggy ice cream, all of which really differentiates us from the high street brands.
How have the locals near Llandudno Pier responded to your new shop?
We’re so lucky to work in such a wonderful place with so many kind people. We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of local people that have made the effort to specifically come to the pier to visit us and support our business. We even had a lovely email from the local MS (MP) Janet Finch-Saunders, who wished us well with our business and plans to visit us next month.
We’re open 7 days a week from 10-6pm and we love meeting fellow Westie lovers. More and more hotels and B&Bs in Llandudno allow dogs, so we’d love to see you come and visit us and meet Burt, the star of Pets on the Pier. All of our branding features Burt and as I mentioned earlier, we have our own branded treats, toys and treats that are aptly named ‘Approved By Burt.’