Is this cafe barking mad or the best place around for your pooch?
A dog mad woman who was too heartbroken to leave her pooch at home has ditched her high flying career of 20 years to open up a café for dogs.
Lisa Owen-Jones, 44, from Stoke Newington, North London, was so distraught at the idea of leaving her Wire Fox Terrier, Florence, at home every day she decided enough was enough.
Earlier this year Lisa opened Scooby’s Boutique Coffee Bar, based in Muswell Hill, which caters exclusively for our four-legged-friends and has received a wooftacular response.
Scooby’s menu includes doggy lollypups, cheese bone biscuits, Flap Jack Russels, Dog-gestives and Puppaccino’s as well as extra special weekend treats for hounds – and Lisa’s tried them all.
All dogs and humans are welcome and Lisa’s over the moon that her beloved Florence can now go to work with her every day.
The former marketing manager at BBC Concert Orchestra, said: ‘I love my job, I can’t think of a better way to spend my time than with man’s best friend.
‘When I got Florence in 2012 it really was love at first sight, I even carried her round in a puppy rucksack before she could even walk.
‘Florence came everywhere with me, on the tube, to the pub, I’d have a beer and Florence would have an ice cube.
‘But over time I found it harder and harder leaving her to go to my day job.
‘Florence would sit next to the door with sad eyes, I felt so guilty.
‘I started thinking about ways I could spend more time with her and Scooby’s was born.
‘Now some of my most loyal doggy customers refuse to walk past unless they can come in for their cheese bone or dog-gestive biscuit.
‘I wouldn’t have my life any other way now.
‘We have both a human and hounds menu and we also host birthday pawties and afternoon tea, we have so much fun.
‘But you don’t need to have a dog to come to Scooby’s, everyone’s welcome.
‘It’s a place to relax, meet friends and have a nice time.’
Lisa drove her friends and family barking for over a decade about wanting a dog.
After being dragged to countless dog shows, Lisa’s mum decided to give her the best Christmas present she could ever wish for – a wire fox terrier puppy called Florence.
The idea of Scooby’s came to Lisa after she was left angered by other coffee shops turning her and her pooch away.
Lisa said: ‘I was tired of waving outside coffee shops trying to get the attendant to notice us.
‘I got tired of standing in the rain drinking my coffee, there was no reason why we couldn’t go in we just weren’t allowed.
‘Now both humans and hounds can enjoy a nice drink and treat inside come rain or shine.’
Lisa had worked in classical music for over twenty years and had no experience of running a café or coffee bar before.
Lisa said: ‘It’s been a sharp learning curve from writing business plans, learning about coffee machines to sourcing beans.
‘In the beginning I signed me and Florence up for dog training classes, I really wanted to be able to feel in control of dogs in all situations.
‘We’ve now passed our puppy foundation, bronze and silver Kennel Club Good Citizenship tests, we will get gold one day.
‘Sometimes I think I must be barking but I don’t regret the career change.
‘I’ve now tried everything off the human and hound menu, it’s all healthy, so why not.
‘Florence favourites are the Dog-gestives and mine are the Flap Jack Russles.
‘I really do love servings my hounds & humans and I’ve discovered that I really do like trying to make the perfect cup of coffee and love making puppaccions for the dogs -it’s very satisfying.’
Scooby’s has recently started hosting events, last month Lisa held a photo-call with a pet-friendly Photo Booth to launch a competition for FRONTLINE® Spot On The UK’s No.1 flea and tick protection company, which named Christine Hanson as the UK’s most dedicated pet owner.
Lisa said: ‘We hold all kind of different events here at Scooby’s, this has been one of my favourites.
‘We had a photobooth and the dogs loved dressing up more than the humans, it was a lovely afternoon.
‘The most dedicated pet owners were nominated and Christie was a worthy winner.
‘Every week Christie drove her dog Roxie to have chemotherapy after she was diagnosed with Lymphoma.
‘Sadly in September, Roxie lost her battle and left Christie and her other pooch Copper heartbroken.
‘It was an honour being involved in an event with people who adore their pets just as much as me.’
For more information please visit: http://scoobysboutique.co.uk/