When you think of “essential businesses” during the COVID-19 pandemic, most would come up with grocery stores, gas stations and hospitals.
For pet owners, that list would also include their favorite store for food and also grooming.
Doggy Doos Boutique and Barkery in downtown Sayre was able to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic as it was an essential business.
“I closed down in the beginning and went part time, but then I realized I had to be there for dog and cat food,” owner Melanie Stratton said. “The veterinarians were referring a lot of animals to me that they couldn’t see. My concern was keeping the dogs and cats on their good diets … you are what you eat.”
The shop on Packer Ave. features a full bakery and deli for dogs, cats and other small animals.
Stratton also does pet grooming and teaches nutritional classes, while also using all-natural, holistic products for health and well being.
“Nutrition is everything and I do a lot with nutrition. I’ve taken nutrition classes. I sell really good food. I can customize diet for people,” Stratton said.
Stratton said business has been strong during her first few years of operation, including a steady stream of customers from outside the Valley.
“Local people bring their dogs in to be groomed, but I have people who travel quite a ways to come in and shop because there’s nothing around here like that,” she said.
During the pandemic, Stratton said she has focused on keeping her customers safe by following all guidelines.
“I don’t have many people that come in at the same time. We tried to limit people. We did a lot of curbside stuff. I did a lot of deliveries. You know whatever was best for the people,” Stratton said.
Stratton credited the local community with stepping up to support all local businesses during the crisis.
“The community has rallied (around) us. They are really trying to support the local businesses. They want us to stay here and I appreciate that,” Stratton said.