Podcast Episode 72: Creating a Successful Brick and Mortar Pet Business with Bow Wow Dog Bakery’s Leel Michelle

In this episode, I’m talking to Leel Michelle about creating a successful brick and mortar pet business. As the owner of Bow Wow Dog Bakery, Leel is an experienced pet industry pro with a background in corporate retail and professional FUN. In this episode she shares great advice about creating a successful brick and mortar pet business like incorporating services into your retail shop. We also talk about how important pet birthdays are and how you can make them part of a special experience for your customers.

Creating a Successful Brick and Mortar Pet Business

Founded by Leel Michelle in 2006, Bow Wow Dog Bakery (formerly known as Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe) is an award-winning retro-themed dog bakery and pet boutique that also offers onsite pet grooming. Following a career in corporate retail management and corporate amusement park management, Le-el was inspired by her pint-sized Chihuahua Frida, Standard Poodle Mumsie, and Bichon Sugar to create a brand that utilizes her skills, creativity, and passion for catering to pets and pet parents. Le-el also enjoys giving back to the pet industry with trade show speaking engagements at events like SuperZoo and Global Pet Expo.

She contributes to print and online publications writing about topics such as pet store design, retail merchandising, client experience, and grooming salons.

Topics Discussed in this episode:

  • How Leel got her start with baking dog goods
  • The differences between running a grooming business vs a boutique
  • What the process is like for getting USDA/FDA approved
  • The trends of dog birthdays and boutiques
  • The essential elements to have in a brick and mortar pet business
  • Favorite aspects of working in the pet industry
  • Key activities for pet entrepreneurs to invest their time in

Find Bow Wow Dog Bakery:


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Tori Mistick is a blogger, podcaster and certified Canine Enrichment Specialist. You might call her a professional dog mom! Tori has a soft spot for senior dogs and loves the color pink. Based in Pittsburgh, PA.


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