By Nicole Beswitherick
As a teenager, Jenna Stevenson’s favourite Disney movie was The Fox and The Hound. She also dreamed about being a dog groomer and thought the film’s title would be the perfect name for her future business. Now it is – in May, Stevenson opened the Fox and Hound Grooming Company at 790 Bronson Avenue.
A groomer for the past 10 years, Stevenson had a salon in Westboro but decided to move to the Glebe during the pandemic to meet new people and their pets. She also wanted a central location so her clients in Westboro would not have a long trip to follow her.
Stevenson said finding the right building in the Glebe was very important. She wanted to have enough parking, and with COVID-19 protocols in place, it was extremely important to have one entrance for clients to drop off and pick up pets and a separate entrance for employees. She also needed a place that her four-year-old daughter could be while mom worked during after-school hours. The building at 790 Bronson Avenue was the perfect fit.
Stevenson decided to open her small business just after the peak of COVID-19 cases in Ottawa, but she says the pandemic has not hindered the grooming business; in fact, the pet boom, as so many families rushed to get a new “pandemic puppy,” has probably helped. Although some people wonder why she would move during a pandemic, her business has been quite successful in the Glebe. Even during the three lockdowns in Ontario over the past 20 months, she has been able to stay open and keep serving clients.
“I love the Glebe,” Stevenson declared.
According to Stevenson, Fox and Hound Grooming has been very busy in its new location. “We average about 50 to 70 [clients per week],” she said. Stevenson and Angie Fritz-Nelson, an employee, both work full-time, and an assistant comes in to help on Fridays and Saturdays.
Fox and Hound Grooming offers a lot of services for dogs and other pets. For dogs, they provide brush outs as well as nail trimming, which can be done by walk-in with no appointment. The business also includes bath-and-brushes and bath-and-trims, when they bathe the dog and give it a small trim around the face and paws.
While dogs are her main business, Stevenson also provides services for other animals, such as brush-outs and nail trims for cats and nail trims for other small animals like rabbits, guinea pigs and even ferrets.
Stevenson loves pets and has a passion for pet grooming. She has quite a few pets of her own: two dogs (a husky and an Australian shepherd mix), a couple of cats and a rabbit. Stevenson works with a local kitten rescue organization that has an intake room in her building, making her new location in the Glebe all the more suitable.
Having success in the Glebe has been great for Stevenson.
“We’ve been pretty busy. It’s been so exciting getting to know new people, [because] when you move neighbourhoods, you get to know these different neighbourhoods and different dogs and different people, and we’ve been getting to know the Glebe.”
It has been fun and exciting, Stevenson said, to be able to work in the Glebe where everyone is so friendly and seems to have a puppy.
Nicole Beswitherick is in her third year in journalism at Carleton University.