Carl Shepherdson knows a good business opportunity when he sees it.
He started his own IT business when he was just 17 years old. He launched Teesside’s first pet boutique four years ago. And he even launched Teesside’s first dedicated dog café!
So there’s every reason to take notice when he says Stockton Town Centre is now the place to be for ambitious new retail businesses.
Carl’s thriving business, Wags and Whiskers Pet Boutique, has been based on Dovecot Street since 2013, hiring a unit from Mandale Group to sell the very best food and accessories for much-loved family pets.
Such has been its success, he’s since opened a further store in Saltburn and launched his latest ‘pet project’, a café for dogs.
Initially based in Stockton’s Enterprise Arcade, Wags and Whiskers then made the big move to their current base on Dovecot Street, midway between Arc and the attractive High Street fountains.
“It’s a really busy place and perfect for a specialist unit like ours,” says Carl. “People who haven’t been to Stockton for a while can’t believe the change. As someone who’s lived here all their life, I think the changes are fantastic. It’s great to see the council and Mandale investing in the town.
“What’s great for us is that there are car parks close by offering the first hour free, so it’s perfect for those customers who want to call in for a short time.”
Wags and Whiskers continues to earn barks – and meows – of approval from satisfied customers, with Carl adding: “I always struggled to find quality food and treats for my Yorkshire Terrier, Maggie, so we offer the very best for dogs and cats.
“None of the pet food we sell has added sugars, colouring or additives, almost all made with ingredients good enough for humans – in fact you could almost eat it yourself!”