Despite the tough business climate, Layla Lowery and sister Kerry O’Hair decided to take over the existing Cafe K9 in Spout Lane, Concord, in October and have spent the past few weeks putting their stamp on the site.
It opened for the first time under their management on December 2. In line with Tier 3 restrictions, they can only operate as a retail offering, selling dog cup cakes, dog champagne and accessories, as well as a takeaway for afternoon teas, however, they’ve got plenty of plans for when they can open fully.
They plan to offer dog birthday parties, puppy socialisation classes and more in the large indoor space when permitted to do so.
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In the meantime, they’ve already had 40 bookings for their Santa Paws events which are running on weekends in December in the outdoor space, giving dogs the chance to meet a ‘Santa’ dog, while also getting a treat and a photo of them with the canine Father Christmas.
Take away afternoon teas for humans, priced £6.50 per person, are also proving popular and can be ordered for two, priced £13, for collection, or £15 for two with local delivery.
Layla already has 20 years’ experience in catering and was on furlough from working at Gillies in The Galleries when the opportunity to take over Cafe K9 came up. She and Kerry are also dog owners, so it was a chance to combine their love of pets and catering.
"Me and my sister both have a catering background,” explained Layla. “And we both own dogs and have a love of dogs, so when this opportunity came up, despite it being a pandemic, it seemed too good to turn down. It’s the perfect combination for us.
“We’ve had a really good response from people even before opening, so we really hope it will be a venture people will support."
The opening comes as the Echo is encouraging people to #ShopLocal this Christmas.
*Cafe K9 is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9.30am to 5pm and Sunday 9.30am to 3.30pm. You can book afternoon teas and Santa Paws through the cafe’s Facebook page or on Tel. 0191 415 35