It’s an exciting time for husband-and-wife team Allan and Sarah Bigelow- the duo are opening a doggie daycare business as the newest members of the Hounds Town USA franchise family! Allan and Sarah, who plan to open the doors to their all-new Charlotte, NC facility in the coming months, are recent transplants to the Queen City after living in Dallas, TX for 5 years and St. Louis, MO for 26 years prior to that.
“Upon moving to Charlotte, NC in July of 2019 from Dallas, Texas, we were interested in exploring several different small business opportunities in the Charlotte area that we felt could be successful,” says Allan, a pilot with American Airlines, who plans to continue with his high-flying career even after opening a doggie daycare business with his wife.
Sarah, a former elementary and middle school library assistant, shares that she will be handling the majority of the day-to-day operations as a Hounds Town USA Franchise Owner. As animal lovers and pet parents, the Bigelows were inspired by their Havanese, Arlo, as well as Leo their late English Bulldog, whom they still love and miss every day, to own a business that involved dogs in some way. As they began their search for franchise opportunities, the pair placed the majority of their focus on pet care-oriented businesses. “We tried grooming salons- I even started taking dog grooming classes- and we also looked at dog boarding places,” explains Sarah, who shares that the couple also briefly considered a couple of other doggie daycare business opportunities, as well as a few non-pet-related concepts like a laundromat franchise.
It wasn’t until Hounds Town USA popped up on an online search for a different doggie daycare business that Allan and Sarah discovered the opportunity that turned out to be just the right fit for them. “It was during our thorough research that we happened upon a Hounds Town ad and requested additional information,” recalls Allan. Liking what they saw, the Bigelows decided to move forward with the Franchise Education Process.
Right away, Allan and Sarah could see how opening a doggie daycare business with Hounds Town USA could allow them to own a place that puts dogs first. They felt that our doggie daycare business model and philosophy were in perfect alignment with their goals and values in a way other opportunities hadn’t been. “We have looked into other franchises and Hounds Town just felt different…in a good way!” Sarah tells us. “There was always an open line of communication with the entire Hounds Town team and it was apparent that [Hounds Town USA Founder] Mike [Gould] and [Hounds Town USA President] Jackie [Bondanza] go above and beyond to ensure that we have all the resources at our fingertips to build a successful business.”
During a virtual Discovery Day, Allan and Sarah were able to take a deep-dive into the Hounds Town USA franchise model and find out if opening a doggie daycare business with us was the right move for them. They came away from their experience convinced that owning a Hounds Town USA was the next best step in both of their careers. “We have been impressed with the entire process and really like the Hounds Town business model and their transparency,” says Allan. “I like that there is no breed discrimination- I had a lot of roommates with Dobermans and pit bulls, and they were sweet and gentle.”
Another aspect that appealed to the Bigelows about opening a doggie daycare business with Hounds Town USA is our straightforward, dogs-first approach that creates a welcoming, affordable experience for both human and canine customers. “Other places charge an arm and a leg,” Allan points out. “Hounds Town is no-frills, no surprises.”
Sarah also mentioned that Hounds Town’s commitment to giving back through our partnerships with local animal shelters as part of their doggie daycare business model was another important factor in the couple’s decision to franchise with Hounds Town USA. Having spent time with her daughter volunteering at Operation Kindness, a no-kill animal shelter in Carrolton, Texas back when the family lived in Dallas, as well as doing volunteer work at the Matthews HELP Center, a community short-term crisis assistance facility in neighboring Matthews, NC, Hounds Town’s dedication to helping animals live better lives spoke to Sarah and Allan. “We really liked Hounds Town’s focus on partnerships with shelters and helping pets in their communities,” she says.
Allan and Sarah are looking forward to the next steps that await them before opening the doors to their new Hounds Town USA doggie daycare business, including attending Hounds Town training at our Ronkonkoma, NY headquarters, and are feeling confident about the level of support they can count on from us in the days leading up to their Grand Opening and beyond. “We are excited to attend the training sessions at their facility and are equally excited to know that they will be in Charlotte for our grand opening, to help train our staff, and be on-site for several days after we open our doors for business,” Sarah says.
Opening a doggie daycare business is the next exciting chapter for Allan and Sarah, who are parents to adult children- a 19-year-old daughter who attends Appalachian University and a son in the National Guard who is currently doing his part to help with the COVID-19 crisis. When Allan is not up in the air, he enjoys boating, skiing, and flying a different kind of aircraft- his drone! Sarah spends her free time working out and practicing yoga. Both Allan and Sarah are avid readers and love spending time with their dog, Arlo.
We’re thrilled to welcome the Bigelows into our franchise family and can’t wait to add Charlotte to our list of cities that can call themselves a HOUNDS TOWN!
Want to learn more about the Hounds Town opportunity? Visit houndstownfranchise.com.