PLATTSBURGH — The former Viking Ski n’ Cycle is now a one-stop shop for pups.
After that family operation vacated the chalet-style building at 453 Route 3 in the Town of Plattsburgh, it was made over and split for two businesses:
Champlain Valley Vet Hospital Manager Heather Miller thought the pet services complemented one another.
"It is a synergistic business,” Miller said. “Who else understands barking dogs more than a dog groomer?
“It is absolutely the greatest business that could have moved in there.”
Both businesses have operated in the greater Plattsburgh area for some time.
Champlain Valley Vet opened its veterinarian office more than 50 years ago at a historic farmhouse, once situated next to Chick-fil-a on Route 3 in the Town of Plattsburgh.
That building has since been razed to make way for a new Panera Bread location.
Good Karma Owner and Operator Jasmine Barnard said her grooming service kicked off in February 2016.
Up until its recent move, the dog salon had a storefront at Plattsburgh Plaza off of Cornelia Street in the City of Plattsburgh.
Barnard said the former location was larger than the Route 3 shop by about 600 square feet.
“But it was a lot of wasted space,” she said. “We didn’t really use a lot of it. This is utilized much better.”
The Fessette Realty property was remodeled by Marks Construction Inc. and, Barnard and Miller both noted, it had been fitted for their needs.
Like the bathing area at Good Karma and multiple exam rooms at Champlain Valley Vet.
Champlain Valley Veterinary Services was also fitted with cat condos and dog kennels, as well as separate rooms for pet X-rays, isolations and operations.
Miller said the vet office cares for cats and dogs and can perform non-specialty surgeries onsite.
The hospital manager thought the office’s clean, new interior offered a lot to its clients and its vets Jennifer Fitscher, DVM and Felice Cuomo, DVM.
“The old place had so much character,” Miller said, “but this is so much better when it comes to business.
“We had beautiful, brand new equipment, but the old building didn’t show that,” she continued. “It didn’t showcase our talents.
“This matches my doctors — who are fantastic.”
Good Karma has three groomers: Barnard, Rebekah Sessums and Hope Craig.
Sessums, Barnard said, doubles as a veterinary assistant at the neighboring Champlain Valley Vet, too.
Altogether, the shop owner estimated, the groomers care for about 80 to 90 dogs a week.
As a dog mom to four, Barnard said she understood the stresses of grooming for both the pet parent and the pup.
That’s why her shop promotes a cage free, spa-like experience.
"I wanted a safe place for dogs to come that's stress free,” Barnard said. “Somewhere that the owners could really trust that their dogs were in good hands.”
Barnard first started pet grooming about seven years ago and said she has built bonds with fellow pet parents.
“You really become family with these people,” she said. "You see them when their pets, unfortunately, pass away, you see them when they get new pets — you go through everything with them.”
From where the shop started back in 2016, Barnard said, it has gained a lot of momentum.
“We've grown so much over the years,” she said. “We've become so big — way bigger than I expected.”
And now the next door vet office has helped bring in even more customers, she said.
"We get a lot of clients who come over from there to ask questions and talk to us,” Barnard said.
Miller said she has had the same experience vice versa.
The new location is near the intersection of Route 3 and Smithfield Boulevard.
Though that could present issues for pets or drivers, Miller said that hasn't been the case.
“I haven’t had a problem with that at all,” she said.
Barnard thought the heavy traffic had its advantages.
"Now that we're right on the main road, people constantly say they saw us on their way by,” she said.
"Just being here has definitely helped us."
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