Crazy success for the first outdoor center for dogs in Caen, Pile Poils Plumes

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The Pile Poils Plumes outdoor dog center opened its doors in September 2020. Since then, it has been constantly full and can count on around fifty regular customers. ©© Mathieu Girard

Monday, September 14, 2020, the pet sitters Claire and Tom Depirou opened the doors of the first airy center for dogs of the agglomeration of Caen (Calvados). Two years later, the success of this small company based in Bretteville-sur-Odon does not deny.

A booming market

An airy center for dogs, is that a funny idea? When we know that the pet market represented more than 5 billion euros in France in 2020, it is rather a masterstroke!

Florist and engineer by training, Claire and Tom Depirou embarked on this adventure in September 2020. Creators of Pile Hair Feathers in 2018, a micro-company specializing in pet sitting, they quickly revised their ambitions upwards.

Home pet sitting worked very well, but we were limited as we couldn’t accommodate more than two dogs at a time. We regularly refuse requests.

Claire Depirou

700 m2 dedicated to the happiness of dogs

The two entrepreneurs, aged 27 and 28, then imagined a kind of daycare reserved for doggies.

After getting information from similar structures in France, we were convinced that it could work in the Caen conurbation.

In September 2020, they launch. They invest all their savings in the purchase of a plot of 700 m2 located in the industrial zone of the Grande Plaine, in Bretteville-sur-Odon. They set up a fenced area where their four-legged residents have everything they need to have a great time: “A space reserved for puppies, a sandpit, a ball pool, pontoons, small steps, games, etc »

50 regular customers, more than 200 in all

The success is immediate. And the irony of fate catches up with them.

We have made arrangements to be open more often, but we still have people who find themselves without a place.

Available four days a week when they started, they now work non-stop from Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. An essential adjustment to meet growing demand.

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We have about fifty regular customers, but more than 200 in all.

The proof that the so-called Dragibus, Elliot, Picasso, Raffia, Seven or Sir Pile Poil, to name but a few, like their airy center! To help them take care of all this little world, they hired Marie and Joana in April 2022. The sign that their little business is not experiencing a crisis.

They have also launched an online store, where they sell natural chewing treats, croquettes from the Caen brand In my bowl and toys.

Nocturnes to celebrate 2 years

But if their activity is booming, the founders of Pile Hair Feathers don’t think about expanding. “Ten dogs at the same time is ideal for us. And they have plenty of work as it is.

We try to ensure our work-life balance, which is not always easy…

In the meantime, they are preparing to welcome their most loyal customers, from September 5 to 9, to celebrate the second anniversary. “We will offer activities every evening, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., to thank them. There will be an educator, initiations to clicker training and first aid, obstacle courses…”

Practical information :Pile Poils Plumes summer camp, 6 avenue de la Grande Plaine, in Bretteville-sur-Odon. More information on the website www.pilepoilsplumes.fr. Prices: 24 euros a day, 15 euros a half.

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