As lifelong pet owners and animal lovers, and for years, Amy Reed & Leslie Barron were constantly being called upon by friends, co-workers, and family to pet sit while they were out of town. They loved getting to know new furry friends, but realized that the reliable, personalized, professional pet care services that their friends and neighbors needed simply didn’t exist in their community. Seeing this as an opportunity to do something meaningful for pet parents, Amy and Leslie quit their corporate jobs and opened the first Woofie’s location in September of 2004.
Headquartered in Ashburn VA, Woofie’s is the first and only pet care franchise system to offer the combined services of pet sitting, dog walking, and mobile pet grooming. Simply put, Woofie’s is a one-stop solution to all your pet-related concerns. At Woofie’s, your pet is never alone and feels at home. “We have fun and just love what we do. Being avid animal lovers, we couldn’t think of a better way to spend our days,” says Amy Reed Co-Founder & Co-Owner, Woofie’s, LLC.
“According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 67% of all US households own a pet. Woofie’s aims to make sure every pet care experience is an exceptional one and to offer the convenience of mobile pet care to pet parents.”
Chasing is fun
Just like every business, Woofie’s has its goals and targets. However, being run by pet lovers and a team that is passionate about pets, it’s not just about numbers, but adding value to their clients by offering superior services. Woofie’s targets pet owners who consider and treat their pets as a part of the family. Their typical client is someone who wants the best possible care for their pet and won’t settle for anything less than exceptional service. Woofie’s team understands what pet parents want and strive to ensure that pets and their parents are super happy and satisfied. “According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 67% of all US households own a pet. Woofie’s aims to make sure every pet care experience is an exceptional one and to offer the convenience of mobile pet care to pet parents,” says Reed. Through their loving attitude towards pets accompanied by their top-notch services, Woofie’s not only ensures that beloved pets get all the love and attention they deserve but also enables pet parents to have peace of mind. “The Woofie’s team believes that every pet deserves the best possible care and we strive to make sure our quality of services are unmatched in the industry,” adds Reed. They utilize the latest technologies including GPS tracking and the Woofie’s branded app so that clients can view walking routes and communicate directly with their sitter or walker. “Our pet sitters and dog walkers send photos and updates of our client’s pets so they can see how their pet is doing while they are away,” shares Barron. “Our mobile pet spa service brings the amenities of an upscale grooming salon right to our client’s front door! Our professional groomers are experts at pet grooming/styling AND customer service.” Everything they do is focused on making the pet and the pet parent comfortable in every way. From caring for the pets to following detailed feeding and walking instructions, Woofie’s team does everything with passion and love!
“We consistently promote Woofie’s team members from within and always look for ways to support them personally and professionally.”
Woofie’s and Awards Go Hand in Hand
When you do something you love, success follows. And Woofie’s has been just the right example of it. Woofie’s has won numerous awards not only at local levels, but at regional, and national levels too:
Best Groomer, Best Mobile Pet Services, Best Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers- Northern Virginia Magazine Reader’s Poll 2019
Best Groomers in 2013, 2014, and 2016 and Best Pet Sitters in 2011 & 2015-Northern Virginia Magazine
Best Pet Care Company 2011-2017- Washingtonian Magazine
Best Pet Services Company in 2016 – 2019; Reader’s Choice 2020-Loudoun Times-Mirror
Loudoun’s Favorites for Pet Grooming in 2017-Loudoun Now
Best Pet Groomer 2015- Washington Family
Best Groomers & Best Dog Walkers by in 2015 and 2017; Best Dog Walkers & Doggie Day Care 2020- Posh 7 Magazine
Featured on NBC News 4 and Fox 5 News
Featured on The Pet Show with Dr. Katy
Top 20 National Semi-finalist for Intuit’s Small Business/Big Game Super Bowl contest in 2013
Named Top 100 Small Businesses in the US by the US Chamber of Commerce in 2015.
“We’re so proud to be considered a premier pet care provider in Northern Virginia, and can’t wait to bring our services to even more pet parents in the future,” emphasizes Barron.
Woofie’s franchise: An opportunity to be taken
The pet industry has been the hub of business opportunities. Especially the franchise system where the path to success and financial independence is already laid down. Unlike the conventional business system, it does not have the uncertainties and risk of unbearable financial loss and hence is the most sought-after form of business. Having studied the effectiveness and success bearing nature of this business model, Woofie’s started franchising in 2019.
One clear advantage of owning a Woofie’s franchise is that it’s a mobile concept that does not require expensive retail space, which results in a lower investment (under $200K) and quicker onboarding. But to be a part of the Woofie’s franchise system, the aspiring franchisee, must be an avid animal lover. They also need to have a flair for customer service and the willingness to keep raising their standards consistently. Having fun at work is a part of Woofie’s culture and getting to know pets and their parents is a part of the daily work. The franchisee must have the quality to make work fun and provide exceptional service to pets and their parents. The franchisee should feel what a pet parent feels.
After the initial training period, comes a crucial phase where the franchise enters the deep waters of real business. So Woofie’s offers its franchisees ongoing practical training and support. To ensure that the franchisee receives the required support at every step, a corporate team conducts monthly meetings with them. The franchise partner also receives direct access to Leslie and Amy for expert guidance. With the clear path towards success laid down, the franchisee just needs to follow the process.
Adapting During Tough Times
As coronavirus started spreading across the world, Woofie’s witnessed a reduction in demand for pet sitting and dog walking. However, the demand for their mobile pet spa service skyrocketed. Woofie’s pivoted and rolled out its curbside grooming services where clients drive to their office locations and drop off their pet without having to leave their car. To make their services as contact-free as possible, Woofie’s continues to be very stringent about following the safety protocol set forth by the CDC and has made the necessary adjustments.
The pandemic has been difficult and challenging for everyone. With many needing help in some way, Woofie’s decided to use this as an opportunity to serve their community. To show respect and appreciation for the hard work of local healthcare workers, Woofie’s staff gave free walks to their dogs to ease some of their burdens. As some of the team members relied on Woofie’s as their sole income, Woofie’s made sure that 100% of the cost of concierge services went directly to their team members. “We consistently promote Woofie’s team members from within and always look for ways to support them personally and professionally,” shares Reed. “Woofie’s culture has always been about teamwork and being of service to others. We hold a big annual fundraiser each year called Paws & Claus where pets get their photo taken with Santa and all proceeds go towards a local pet rescue or charity. Over the years we have raised over $25,000 for these charities! In addition, we also donate the proceeds from our “Yappy Hour” events to local rescues and charities.”
Post pandemic, Woofie’s plans to bounce back and achieve some serious growth. With a clear vision and goals for their three franchise partners, Woofie’s plans to support them to be the best versions of themselves, and achieve the time and financial freedom they desire. Woofie’s plans to not just grow, but grow itself into a national brand. “We plan to expand beyond Northern Virginia and offer Woofie’s franchise opportunities on a national level,” mentions Reed.