As COVID-19 continues into mid-May, small businesses are adjusting their business plans and altering the way they serve their communities so that they can continue to stay afloat and work with customers. To get a better idea of how Lee Highway businesses are faring during this time, LHA’s Communications Manager has been in touch with local business owners and managers.
This past week, she discussed with Woof Gang Bakery’s Daniel In all things COVID-19 and pet related, as well as the best ways the Arlington community can support the business.
Maia Potok-Holmes: Hi Daniel, thanks so much for agreeing to do this article!
Daniel In: My pleasure!
MPH: Well, let’s get into it. How did you get involved in this Woof Gang Bakery location?
DI: Woof Gang Bakery is actually a franchise that is big in the southern states. My Aunt and Uncle owned a location in Chapel Hill NC and wanted to see if I was interested in opening up a location in Northern Virginia. After much discussion I decided to open up the current location.
MPH: What do you envision for the future of Woof Gang Bakery?
DI: I want Woof Gang Bakery Arlington to be the premier pet grooming business in the area. Our space is pretty small right now, but as business grows I would like to expand to a larger facility.
MPH: I’m going to pivot a bit to the current pandemic. As we all know, COVID-19 has had quite the impact on “normal” life and local businesses. How has WGB been impacted throughout all this?
DI: Interestingly enough, our business has actually remained relatively stable throughout this pandemic. We are considered an essential business and we have been open the entire time, but we did shorten our hours of operation to reduce exposure. Our grooming services have been booked up because now that everyone is working from home with their dogs all day, they want to get their puppies groomed. Our retail product sales have definitely taken a hit though. Customers want to spend less time in the shop browsing and just get in and out quickly. Overall sales are still down a bit, but I think that we can manage. We will have to focus on our grooming services more.
MPH: How have you had to change your operations?
DI: We have implemented a more strenuous cleaning policy and our staff also uses face coverings to limit exposure. And like I mentioned before, we’ve reduced our hours of operation as well.
MPH: Moving forward, how can the Arlington community support businesses like yours, or any other business in the area?
DI: Honestly, just shop local! We will always have great clients for our grooming, but our product sales are falling due to online shopping. If you like our services and our shop, please spread the word. Personal recommendations are the BEST advertising!
MPH: They really are. For those that want to come into the store, what kind of things do you have available for purchase?
DI: We have all sorts of products for your furry family members. We try to provide the highest quality products when it comes to food, treats, toys, pet care products, accessories, etc… I definitely recommend you come by and take a look at our treat table. We have a treat very large treat table that is covered in hand made and hand decorated dog treats and are made with human grade ingredients. You could try them if you really wanted, but I am not sure how good they would taste to us (laughs).
MPH: What are some of your favorite things Woof Gang Bakery sells?
DI: We carry so many great products that it is hard to choose. A few that I love because I know that the dogs love them are the Himalayan Chews, bully sticks, anything on the treat table, all of the Earth Animal products, and our CBD products.
MPH: That’s awesome! Before we close, I want to ask….What’s your favorite part about working at Woof Gang Bakery?
DI: I love interacting with our clients and all of the cute dogs that come through. We have so many regulars and you get to know them well. Also, I love being able to provide good employment for my employees.
MPH: You’re so lucky to be able to interact with so many cute pups!
DI: I really am.
MPH: Well, thanks so much for chatting with me Daniel! Best of luck.