It's no secret that we love to shop and wherever we travel, we always make time to visit the local pet shops and dog boutiques to see if we can find any new and exciting products or treats for Elsa!
On our recent trip to Cornwall, we stopped at Trevisker Garden Centre so that we could pay Paws in Padstow a visit.
The garden centre is located on the outskirts of Padstow, which means that there is the luxury of a free car park (quite a rarity in Cornwall!) Dogs are allowed everywhere inside the garden centre, including the restaurant. We'd already had breakfast and it was too early for lunch, so we headed straight for the dog boutique which is situated in its own unit within the building.
The shop is a good size and has a selection of anything that you might need, from dog food to treats, toys, accessories and even a few things for humans too! Elsa had a good sniff around, she always seems to go a little bit loopy in dog shops - probably because the sight and smell of all the yummy treats are just too much for her! We picked up a couple of things for her, and gifts for her doggy friends back home.
This boutique is set apart from other dog shops because of their unique products and friendly, helpful service; they take the time to really understand their customer's needs so that they can offer the best possible recommendations. Everything in the store has been carefully selected and they really pride themselves on their range of products.
Throw us a bone Paws in Padstow!
Paws in Padstow is owned and run by Lynz & Mike, and we had the pleasure of meeting Mike in person when we visited the store. Unlike corporate pet store chains, boutiques like this one are more like a 'community hub' for dog owners and we really enjoyed chatting to Mike about the local area and dog friendly places to visit.
We asked Lynz & Mike to answer a few questions about their lovely dog boutique:
Tell us a bit about your background and how 'Paws in Padstow' came to exist:
We visited Padstow in September 2016 with our Beagle Rocky, it was Mike’s first time in Cornwall and little did we know then how much of an impact that holiday would have on our lives! We had been looking to leave London and start our own business for about 18 months, and a change in circumstances meant that we were at a crossroads in our lives when we went to Padstow. We couldn’t believe there wasn’t a dog shop in a place that just seemed to be full of dogs, the opportunity was literally staring us in the face! We had a great holiday and the following week went to Portugal (without Rocky who doesn’t have a passport yet!) All we talked about was opening a dog boutique in Padstow! When we got back we spent the months running up to Christmas researching the market and what brands we’d stock, we visited again a few times, to check out the area and find a premises. In the New Year we decided to make the leap, sold our house and put the wheels in motion to make it all happen! We started building relationships with our suppliers, and worked on making Paws in Padstow a unique and aspirational brand in the area.
What's your first year been like?
It’s been a huge learning curve for us, neither of us had run our own business before, we were also in a new county and had to build relationships locally too. Thankfully we have had the support of the team at Trevisker Garden Centre, who have been brilliant. We have been really pleased with how it has gone, some lessons have been learnt and that means this year is set to be even better! We have consistently had lovely feedback from our local customer base and tourists that visit the area, not just about the range we stock and how unique it is locally, but also about our customer service and the advice we give people.
Why did you choose Trevisker Garden Centre as a home for Paws in Padstow?
Trevisker Garden Centre is at the gateway to Padstow, and it was perfect for us as we wanted somewhere that would appeal to tourists and locals alike. Anyone who has been to Padstow in the key holiday periods knows that it gets very busy and parking can be difficult, for those reasons locals often don’t want to go there. It was as important to us to have a consistent customer base locally as have tourists visit, and Trevisker really offers that. The dog friendly café, Trevisker's Kitchen & Dining opened in July and has been a huge success, it is a great place for people to stop on their way into Padstow before their accommodation is ready or to get them ready for the crowds in Padstow itself! There is free parking and a range of shops on the site now, as well as a huge range of fantastic home grown plants to choose from, it really is a must for anyone coming to Padstow this year!
What can visitors to your store expect?
Firstly they can expect helpful and friendly service, that is really important to us. All our staff our trained extensively on what we stock and why, we believe that your best friend deserves the best and so do you, so we try to help by providing advice on food, training and what you can enjoy together locally. We have a map of dog friendly beaches in store as well as information about local dog services such as boarding and grooming. Finally, visitors can expect to find a unique range. As we were talking to our supplier base for a number of months before we opened, we have built some really strong relationships and many have given us exclusivity in the local area, so you’ll find something different if you come to us. Plus you can enjoy a drink and a bite to eat in the dog friendly café too, we can particularly recommend the breakfast and cream teas!
How do you choose your products/ suppliers?
We are very keen to support British businesses so around 95% of what we sell is from UK businesses. We worked hard to find quality products such as Salt Dog collars and leads that are made in Kent, Simon Hart homeware from Devon, and our best seller Natural Instinct raw food from Surrey. We also stock several Cornish brands, including Hudson Handmade Cornish tartan coats, Purley Fish treats and Paws for Cake hand baked dog treats which include tasty pasties for dogs! They all share the same ethos as us, which is wanting the best for your best friend. The majority of our treats are grain free, our dry dog food is grain free and has one of the highest meat content on the market, whilst we stock a large range of coats, leads, beds, collars and harnesses to suit any size dog and any breed.
Do you host any events in the store?
We hold events at the garden centre on the key holidays; we had a colouring competition at Easter and have more fun planned towards the end of May and August. Our big event this year will be a charity dog show for our nominated charity K9 Crusaders on 28th July , they’ll be plenty going on so it’s one for your diary!
Are you actively involved with any charities?
We chose K9 Crusaders to be our main charity, they are based near Truro and do an amazing job rehoming dogs across the county. We visited them just before we opened last year and we were amazed at the great work they do with so little money, the commitment of the team there really is outstanding. During the harsh Winter we’ve just had they were there making soup for the dogs early in the morning to keep them warm. We collect donations in store in our charity box, and also receive old towels and bedding that they can use to make the dogs more comfortable in their kennels, plus 50p of every canvas tote bag for life we sell goes to them. The charity dog show on 28th July will be in aid of K9 Crusaders, but we will also be attending other local charity dog shows this Summer such as the RSPCA Dog Show in June and St Francis Home for Dogs dog show on the 2nd September .
Tell us about your dogs and how they influence Paws in Padstow:
Our Beagle Rocky is our inspiration, we want the very best for him so we don’t stock anything we wouldn’t buy for him. We will be writing a blog on our new website, which will feature lots of local adventures with Rocky as well as useful advice from our experiences of having him over the past few years….the good, the bad and the ugly!!
What are your plans for the future?
We have lots of exciting plans for this year, we have lots of new products that have just landed in store like Oggi’s bake your own dog biscuits and Purely Fish treats from Cornwall, with more new brands due in store over the Summer. We will be attending lots of dog shows and local events throughout the Summer, so come say hello! And finally, we have just launched our website, so even if you aren’t in Padstow you can still check out our range and shop online: www.pawsinpadstow.co.uk
Additional images courtesy of Paws in Padstow