Pet shop

A Virginia pet store employee donated a store by owners

The owners say the employee has wanted to own a pet store since she was in elementary school. Now his dream is coming true.

LEESBURG, Virginia – Nancy Guinn has owned Dog Krazy Inc. since 2006. She and her husband Chris own and operate seven Dog Krazy stores in Virginia. Today, they are giving one of their employees a gift that will make her childhood dreams come true.

Dog Krazy can be found in Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Richmond and Leesburg. Guinn says they opened their Leesburg site three years ago, but didn’t consider the distance to other Dog Krazy sites.

“I am a practical owner and attend my stores as much as possible. The rest of our stores are a few miles from each other and we can spread out and visit all of them,” Guinn said. “Leesburg is the only store that hasn’t received the attention it deserves.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has also had an impact, according to Guinn, prompting customers to shop online through their website rather than in person. Guinn announced that they would be closing the Leesburg store.

“After announcing it, the customers came back with a vengeance, so we decided not to close,” Guinn said. “Business has grown a lot, but [the] distance was always an issue. “

That’s when they decided that instead of selling or closing the store, they would give it to an employee, Cindy Samartino. Samartino has worked for Dog Krazy for over five years.

“We both knew who deserved it,” Guinn said. “Cindy is the most wonderful person. I cry just thinking about how she’s been there for us through the ups and downs. She’s the person I call when I need someone. tell me everything is fine. “

Samartino joined Dog Krazy as a customer before working at the store part-time and then full-time later.

Owning a pet store has been Samartino’s dream for many years.

“When I was in fifth grade, I was tasked with saying what I wanted to do when I grew up. My response was to own my own pet store,” Samartino said.

Samartino will not only take over the store but also everything that is already there.

“We gave him the store and everything in it,” Guinn said.

Samartino was shocked and grateful for the act of kindness.

“It shows how much Nancy and Chris listened to me. It definitely took my breath away when they offered me the store,” Samartino said. “With their continued mentorship, I hope to be successful and continue the Dog Krazy legacy.”

Under the new owner, Samartino said she plans to change the name to Wiggle Butt & Whiskers, but will continue to run the store the same as under the Guinns.

“Why play with a proven formula? Same dream, different dreamer,” Samartino said.

As for the Guinns, they say they will continue to operate their other Dog Krazy locations and have just announced the opening of a new store in Richmond. They are also working on another business wholesaling treats made in Dog Krazy’s in-house “barkereries”.

Samartino will take over the Leesburg store in the new year.

More information can be found here.

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