Dar’s Dirty Dogs Opens Retail and ‘Barkery’ Sections

By Hannah Werle
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Customers at Dar’s Dirty Dogs will now be able to purchase custom-made treats for their furry friends at the company’s new pet bakery.

Dar’s Dirty Dogs celebrated its expansion with a ribbon-cutting Tuesday. Having a retail and bakery – or “barkery” – section was part of the vision of new owner, Dani Edgerton, who purchased the dog grooming business in May.

Edgerton has worked in the dog care business for over 20 years. She also owns and operates A Place for Paws dog daycare and Paws on Main dog bakery in Columbiana, as well as a dog food processing facility in Canfield. She employs 14 workers across all four of her locations.

Edgerton had been speaking with Darlene “Dar” Donnitello, the previous owner of Dar’s Dirty Dogs, about different ways to expand the store. Donnitello decided her interest was more with dog grooming than retail and ownership, so Edgerton purchased the business, keeping Donnitello on as a groomer.

Although she added a new retail section, Edgerton did not do many renovations. She invested some $40,000 in new fixtures and custom shelving, as well as the bakery display.

Edgerton’s expectations for this store have changed drastically since her initial walkthrough, she said.

“I thought that it would be really similar to Paws on Main so we had a vision for it. That changed dramatically as soon as we got here and learned we had a different clientele,” Edgerton said. “It never would’ve been a carbon copy, but it turned out not really to be even what we had originally mentioned. In the month’s time, we changed everything and made it, you know, ours.”

Dani Edgerton and Dolly.

“When we first walked in here it was hard to envision but after… [it was] incredible,” added Edgerton’s daughter, Elizabeth. “It’ll be fun and interesting to see where this takes us.”

The bakery, a highlight of the new renovations, has been a long-time work in progress. Dani Edgerton has had a bakery at Paws on Main for all four years of her ownership and has expanded it to Dar’s Dirty Dogs. Her other daughter, Serena, makes most of the treats at the Columbiana location.

Serena spoke about working with her mother, saying, “It’s been really nice to have a family business and it’s really fun to add onto it.”

The bakery sells cookies, cakes and custom orders specially made for dogs, and has a monthly subscription box. Larger, themed boxes cost around $40 a month, while smaller boxes can vary at a much lower price.

Dani Edgerton tries to offer as many grooming options as possible. The location does not have the space for full grooming stations, but they do offer baths, nail cutting and ear cleaning. The stores also provide a self-serve option for around $12 to $18, which allows dog owners to come in and bathe their dogs themselves, while supplies and clean up will be provided.

There is also a photoshoot wall, where any dog owner can go and take a picture of their dog free of charge.

Edgerton hopes to eventually begin a regular dog training event for young puppies. She also has an upcoming ice cream social planned; she does not currently have a set date. In addition, Edgerton is holding a four year anniversary party at A Place for Paws.

Pictured at top: Joining Dani Edgerton (center) for the ribbon-cutting were her cousin, Bill Edmiston, her son and shop manager Jacob Edgerton, her daughter and pet groomer Elizabeth Edgerton, cousin John Duffy, Asher Edgerton, social media manager Audrey Miller, daughter and baker Serena Edgerton, and former owner and current groomer Darlene Donnitello. Pets on hand were Rollex, Dolly, Reagan, Thea and Titan.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.