Melissa Mitchner’s Bark Shoppe Is Harlem’s First And Only 24-Hour Dog Care Facility

December 14, 2017  |  

Photo courtesy of The Bark Shoppe by Kerby Jean

People love to spend money on their pets. In fact, the American Pet Products Association found that pet owners spent $66.75 billion dollars on various expenses related to their pets in 2016 and that number is estimated to reach $69.36 billion this year. Melissa Mitchner is looking to take a big slice out of that pet industry pie.

Mitchner recently re-launched her pet care business, making it Harlem’s first and only 24-hour dog care facility. The Bark Shoppe offers day and night care services, including therapy, boarding, and grooming. Dogs even get therapeutic care with scents and sounds. In short, it’s a state-of-the-art dog space. Mitchner initially opened her shop in August 2012, but this past October The Bark Shoppe got a revamp and added a 24-hour pet care and lodging facility or, as they call them, Day Care and Canine Condos. Pet owners can even check in on their dog via live stream.

Mitchner told MadameNoire about her love of pets and how changing demographics in Harlem from mainly Black residents to now Caucasian has affected her business.

MadameNoire (MN): What made you want to open a pet services business?

Melissa Mitchner (MM): I was inspired by a reality show. I did not grow up with any pets and was afraid of big dogs, but I saw a need in a changing community and I wanted to represent great customer service with and for people that looked like me.

MN: How did you raise startup funds?

MM: I didn’t raise any funds, I self-funded. I stepped out on faith and depleted my savings account. Whew!

MN: That must have been somewhat scary. What were some startup challenges?

MM: Finding people that understand your vision. Since I started at 26, I often worked with my peers and that was sometimes a challenge because I had over eight years experience in human resources, retail, and big box organization. It was hard to translate the direction where the company should go. People can’t envision what they don’t see sometimes, but I knew my plan. Also, battling the people that don’t understand your value and constantly try to discount your brand.

MN: This is a niche business, how do you market it to consistently get new clients?

MM: For the first three to four years it was word of mouth and referrals. That has truly been a blessing. I use social media and recently hired a PR company too to support my outreach. I still continue to self-promote across NYC and I always will.


MN: Why Harlem?

MM: Because people needed to know and see an owner they can identify with. Upon me opening, there were a lot of mixed feelings around gentrification and what that meant to the community. I wanted to be the girl on 115th Street that not only ran a business with integrity but is an example of what hard work and persistence create. I always had great models of greatness and I wanted to create that so that the new leaders that come after me were confident that if I did it, they can to and be confident in that.

MN: How is the changing face of Harlem affecting your business?

MM: We are seeing more international dog breeds. What’s important for myself and my business is that no matter how much the neighborhood changes we continue to be the face of love. A brand that old Harlem can identify with and new Harlem can appreciate. No matter the changes, we will continue to be a company that serves Harlem and pours directly back into the community.

MN: What has been the biggest business surprise since opening?

MM: How much we’ve grown and continue to set the bar higher. I can truly say we are just scratching the surface of what is to come for The Bark Shoppe.

Trending on MadameNoire

View Comments
Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
  • Easily Achieve Marketing Results For Your Pet Dog Training Business By Reading These Tips – Bad Cat Behavior Or A Cry For Help?

    […] free dog health questions and answers and boarding business that wishes to have success within its market will have to have its professionalism come across in its online existence. If developing a website for yourself isn’t the very best idea, you might hire a website designer to produce an appealing and attractive website for you. Templates, images, and applications are exceptional methods to make your website more appealing and practical. You need to bear in mind how vital it is for you to have an elite website in today’s marketing world, as it is your have to ensure your canine training company has a site that is active and influential. […]


  • High End Your Business Through Online Animal Sales – Healthy Happy Kitty – A To-Do List

    […] animal shop established. If you do not put in the needed effort, you won’t succeed. Check out healthiest dry cat food for indoor cats of these terrific concepts for finding excellent success in online […]


  • Tips To Follow To Successfully Market Your Dog Training Service – Sight

    […] that your business offers is an excellent method to improve sales and generate additional profits. toughest stuffed toys for dogs can end up being common to see recommendations becoming consumers if you provide excellent client […]


  • Market Your Pet Training Service Into Success With These Methods – Homemade Dog Food For A Healthier Pet

    […] who are brand-new which make the mistake of trying to do a lot of things at one time. Delegating find out this here to others in order to prevent ending up being overwhelmed is a sign of clever organisation […]


  • Endless Possibilities Of E-Commerce By Selling Pet Dogs – How To Celebrate Your Dog'S Birthday

    […] condition. The assurance offered by having a reliable delivery service deserves the increased cost. dog grooming near me that you have with delivery service can trigger concerns with sales in the […]


  • Operating Your Popular Pet Dog Website – An Useful Proposition – Try Crate Training For Your Pets

    […] about a range of subjects, thus supplying you with a continuous circulation of new subject matter. visit this backlink of forums is that when they reach a specific size and consist of an excellent quantity of original […]


  • Running Your Popular Pet Website – An Useful Proposition – Wild Rabbits In Danger

    […] all you have to do is pay very close attention to the search patterns for your specific niche. top chews dog treats will develop a following if you compose from your own special viewpoint. Upload fresh content […]


  • Use A Powerful Marketing Method To Sell Cats Online – Feeding Your Exotic Pet

    […] and kittycats. You can also have other clients do this for you in the form of family pet reviews. best dry cat food must make it clear to possible consumers what you need to provide and how they will benefit by […]


  • Surpassing The Billboard To Successfully Sell Dogs | whipfrown2ike's blog

    […] temptations tumblers cat treats discontinued might avoid competition when you offer special deals. Good incentives can be perfect for your overall marketing needs. For your organisation to grow naturally, first focus on being of help to consumers. In spite of online businesses, you need to focus on customer care and appealing promotions. […]


  • Helping You Determine Canines With These Easy Tips – 5 Reasons To Use Dog Poop Bags

    […] sure there is visit the following webpage in your home for giving your dog table scraps. While some owners do not give their dog any table […]


  • Tips To Better Understand Guy’S Buddy – Proven Tips

    […] look at more info are not sure how your dog will react to other dogs, make sure you keep them on a leash during the […]


  • Overcoming The Essential Evils Of Selling Pet Dogs Online – turretmother6josef's blog

    […] page , ensure you constantly pick a reputed delivery service, even if they charge a little extra. top rated cat toys with shipment service can trigger enormous issues later […]


  • Strong Advice And Tips About Dog Care – Is Dog Training Necessary Part 2: The Owner

    […] into subsidized you can find out more for your dog if money is tight. Many local communities, in cooperation with groups like the SPCA […]


  • Love Felines? Read Here For Solid Cat Tips! – germanheight1jonathan's blog

    […] your toilet paper? Make sure that your bath tissue is stopping it from rolling over the top. types of dog cancer can also make or buy a toilet paper cover. These covers are not expensive and will save you money […]


  • Leading Tips To Assist You Take Care Of Your Feline – karatehubcap3boyd's blog

    […] Most people think of pet sitters as necessary for only dogs, but they are important for cats too. veterinary drugs list need someone to check in on your cat, make sure he eats and give him some love while you are […]


blog comments powered by Disqus