A new pet shop and dog groomers will open in a former ice cream parlor in Chester. Plans to convert the Carte D’Or At the River store on Mill Street in Handbridge have recently been approved by Cheshire West and Chester Council.
It will become One Lucky Pup with the main shop selling dog treats, accessories and grooming products. Hot drinks and cakes will also be offered on site or to take away.
The back room would serve as storage and a staff area. A small portion of the back of the premises would also become a canine groomer, by appointment only.
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A statement submitted by claimant Trimdog Limited said: “During the pandemic, dog ownership has increased exponentially. The majority of dog groomers in Chester are based in homes where they have limited capacity and the small number of Brick and mortar stores in and around Chester are also at capacity with a minimum of six to eight week waits for appointments.
“As working life continues to change and more people are able to work flexibly, this demand is not going to go away and dog ownership is expected to continue to increase. People who have taken in pets in their lives over the past two years are generally better off (as the price of a puppy has increased by 5-600%) and are more likely to seek out high quality products, accessories and food than go to high-volume, low-cost wholesalers or discounters out of town looking for a bargain.
“This logic also applies to existing dog owners, a number of whom travel great distances (out of county) to purchase the right food and accessories for their pet and will no longer have to!
“These ‘new’ dog owners are also usually families or individuals who have never owned a dog before. They are less educated (in dog ownership) and need more support and guidance than seasoned dog owners.
“A high street presence in Handbridge, on a dog walking route to the Meadows, creates the ideal community center for dog owners to visit with their pet to seek advice and support and to purchase products at They are also more likely to then stay local in Handbridge and spend in the local economy instead of taking their pet to Pets at Home and then spending money in the big supermarkets.”
He said there was a “great need” to connect dog owners with other local pet businesses, including trainers and walkers. It is hoped this will help “create a local community of dog owners who can support each other”.
The statement continued: “The community of Handbridge is woefully underserved when it comes to a decent coffee supply, with the majority of residents traveling to Chester for a coffee that meets their needs. This is for a combination of reasons: quality of service cafe in Handbridge and the opening hours of existing cafes.
“In summary, without significant changes to the ownership structure and the obvious need for the services provided by a dog groomer and pet store, there is a strong case for granting approval to change the user license from A1 to Sui Generis for the We believe this, combined with the ability to sell hot beverages, will encourage local residents to “stay local” and connect dog owners in the area much more closely, improving the community and micro-economy of Handbridge.
The unit had first opened in 2002 as an Alec Edwards shoe and handbag store. It was turned into an ice cream shop in 2020 before going up for sale last year.
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