‘I have to look after myself’ - tearful owner of dog parlour in Bristol announces closure

The owner of the Mutty Professor has announced the store will close in April.The owner of the Mutty Professor has announced the store will close in April.
The owner of the Mutty Professor has announced the store will close in April.
‘I’ve watched dogs grow from a puppy because of my shop and I’ll miss seeing them’

The owner of a long-standing and popular dog parlour in Bristol has announced the store will likely close at the end of April after 10 years of serving Bristol’s dog community.

Roz from the Mutty Professor, in Bedminster’s West Street, made the shock announcement to her 8,500 Facebook followers citing an increase in costs and the introduction of Bristol’s Clean Air Zone as leading factors to the decision. She also confirmed at least four parties have come forward overnight offering to potentially take over the shop’s lease to avoid closure.

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“I want to make it clear that the business has not gone bust, there is still enough profit here to pay three full-time salaries and have a little bit of money left over for myself,” Roz told Bristol World.

“But, after 10 years of running this place and being creative, while juggling a full-time job as a clinical behaviourist for dogs, I have run out of steam. If the shop can keep going with someone who isn’t so tired that would be wonderful. Doing all the work involved in running this place and keeping a full-time job that is probably more ‘full-time’ than most jobs has become impossible for me.

“Times are tough and the Clean Air Zone for sure [hasn’t helped] because customers are less likely to visit us from Avonmouth if they have to pay £9 [to enter the CAZ] or drive through Portbury and Leigh Woods to avoid the zone. The zone has cut us away from north Bristol and north-west Bristol customers - we’ve kept trade from east and south Bristol.”

The CAZ was introduced in November and blankets much of the city centre area and key routes leading in and out of Bristol. It applies a daily charge, ranging from £9 - £100, on more polluting vehicles that wish to drive through the designated area.

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Roz added: “We’ve been given some relief with our energy bills being cut temporarily but what we would have made up from this, the Clean Air Zone has taken away [with a drop in trade].

As it stands, the Mutty Professor will close its door at the end of April, unless an agreement can be met for someone else to take on the lease. Until then, the store will continue as usual and then sell products online. Roz stated that one of the hardest things about closing is ‘there is no physical shop like it in Bristol’ due it to offering bespoke harness fittings, behavioural classes and diet and food advice.

The Bedminster store has amassed a number of loyal customers of its 10 years in business.The Bedminster store has amassed a number of loyal customers of its 10 years in business.
The Bedminster store has amassed a number of loyal customers of its 10 years in business.

With a tearful farewell, Roz said to her long-term customers: “Thank you. Just thank you. We have people come into our shop and I’ve known their dog for eight to 10 years, I’ve watched them grow from a puppy because of my shop and I’ll miss seeing them and I will really miss not being able to see people who I’ve been seeing for all this time. Equally, I have to look after myself. The best outcome is that someone can take it over.”

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