Carolyn Browne Tamler

has helped hundreds of businesses and organizations with her thoughtful facilitation and research services. She also writes colorful and compelling articles about new business initiatives! Would this help you? Call Carolyn today!

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    2055 Pheasant Farm Lane
    Freeland, WA 98249

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    4-18-13 Store Dogs of Whidbey

    I have been given a writing assignment by a local magazine to tell about three businesses on Whidbey that have funny dogs greeting customers as they come through the door.

    I don’t know that any of these merchants originally thought to have a business that featured a pet, but each has taken full advantage of the soft spot many of us have for cute animals.

    The most obvious one is Spoiled Dog Winery in Langley that literally took its name from two Australian Shepherds, Blue and Sami (Samantha) that seem to be managers there.  People come to taste wine and tour the vineyards because of the reputation for the quality wines that are produced there, but I learned that many of the regulars go there to see the dogs that belong to winery owners, Karen and Jack Krug.

    Then, there’s Koa, a very large, beautiful golden retriever at Vino Amore. He loves jumping up and putting his paws on the counter to say “Hello” when a customer walks up to Gail Liston or Brian Plebanek to get help.

    Midway Florist owner Rob McGowen has actually trained his two dogs (or maybe they learned on their own) to sit up to greet visitors to his flower shop.  He has a dish of dog treats by the register and encourages people to have Bruno and Brutus do tricks for a treat.

    I’m not suggesting that everyone run out and buy a dog to greet customers, but this is a good example of how marketing ideas can sometimes come from unexpected places.  The job is to recognize these opportunities and create your own special ways to bring people into your business.

    I’ll let you know when the story is published…complete with photos.

    Addendum: Right after I wrote this Blog I visited Frontier Building Supply in Freeland and was greeted at the counter by their store kitty, a black Manx cat named TJ.  Like the canines described above, TJ comes right up to the customers to be petted.  He spends most of the day on the counter, often in a left-over cardboard container next to the cash register. 


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