Most customers realize that Pet Safari offers pet grooming, but what they don’t know is the history that brought them where they are today.
Pet Safari originally started as a pet grooming business in 1972. Two years before that, Linda, mother of three boys, told her husband Steve, that she wanted to learn to either cut men’s hair or learn to groom dogs. Linda said, “The next day he signed me up at the American School of Dog Grooming, in Detroit”. She attended classes three days a week to learn her craft and hone her skills. Linda loved grooming and would groom pets, for friends and neighbors, in her utility room. One year after graduation she, and her husband Steve, moved from their hometown, in Michigan, to Clearwater, Florida. Within a few months, they opened their first grooming salon, called Shaggy Dog.
Linda continued learning her trade and over the next few years attended several workshops and seminars to further her training. During that time, she continued training and became one of Florida’s first Certified Master Groomers. Eighteen years later, they relocated the shop in LaBelle plaza and renamed it Pet Safari. By then it had grown into a full-line pet store—offering a plethora of furry friends, colorful freshwater fish, hand-fed birds, and all the best in quality pet products. And yet, the business has kept to its roots: providing professional grooming with a personal touch. “We use the highest quality shampoos and conditioners, and the dogs are groomed to breed standards,” Linda said. “The care of the animal is most important. Our groomers have at least five years’ experience.” Our main objectives are professional quality and personal service. Pet Safari currently employs two full-time groomers and one part-time groomer.
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Since Pet Safari deals with a variety of other animals and associated pet products, there is a continual learning experience. The management team hires knowledgeable, well-trained salespeople.
“It’s always good to have employees that you can learn from too. That’s important,” Linda said. “We always hire people that are very knowledgeable.”
These days, Steve works with their son, David, who is the store manager and owner.
What’s the family secret to four decades of continual success? “We are dedicated to quality service and products,” David said. “People trust us, and we continue to strive to maintain that trust.”