Pet shop

Oil worker to open pet shop and expand Aberdeen valet company

An Aberdeen oil and gas worker opens a new pet shop near Westhill.

Stephen Bruce has run a mobile shop, Pawz Pet Supplies, for two years.

The 49-year-old has personally invested nearly £30,000 in the business and is now preparing to open new premises in Westhill Shopping Center in the coming weeks.

Mr. Bruce, who is also a part-time cable inspection equipment engineer, has signed a five-year lease and relishes the challenge.

He said: “There has been a lot of pessimism around business, but a number of reasons come to mind as to why open a store.

It has been over 19 years since there has been a pet shop in Westhill and they were all desperate for one.

Steve Bruce, Owner, Pawz Pet Supplies.

“When you listen to the enthusiasm of your customers, the encouragement and support make decision-making much easier.

“Strategically, I thought Westhill was the best option. It takes a lot of work but everyone has been super positive and supportive.

“It has been over 19 years since there has been a pet shop in Westhill and they are all in desperate need of it.”

The store will also have a canine grooming salon.

Loyal customers

Mr. Bruce works nights and weekends to visit Northeast communities with his mobile trailer business.

And he has no intention of stopping that anytime soon.

He said: “It has been a fantastic two years so far bearing in mind that I started in the middle of the Covid pandemic.

“Help from all the sites I trade from, Belhelvie Church, Balmedie Leisure Centre, Trellis Cafe, Dyce Market and of course Westhill Shopping Center has been wonderful.

“If it weren’t for all these amazing customers and their pets, I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today – that’s the main reason why I have to keep the mobile offering going.

“I feel a duty to all my loyal customers to continue what they have in fact started.”

Mr Bruce has been helped along the way by his wife, Lindsay, who also handles social media for Pawz Pet Supplies.

The couple have two Lhasa apso dogs, Charlie and Lottie.

Lottie and Charlie

“There’s no point in just dipping my toe in the water,” Mr Bruce said, adding: “Given the investment I’ve made so far, I thought why not do a decent lease?

“By year three, I’d like to see another store open after the reaction I’ve seen so far.”

“Happy to take a risk”

The cost of doing business crisis is a concern, but Bruce believes the benefits of owning a store outweigh the risks.

He said: “I have clients in the energy sector who are looking for the best deals for me.

“I think we have to try it and watch as we go.

“I don’t see that I’m going to use a significant amount of electricity.

“Only the lighting and the grooming salon will consume energy. I’m quite happy to take the risk.

“There is a mountain to climb, as well as a significant investment, but it will be worth it once I open the doors and finally start another chapter of the Pawz empire – dare I say it.”

Mitchell shines in Aberdeen

Business is also booming for Mitchell’s Detailing.

Owner Marcus Mitchell provides mobile valeting services to homes and workplaces, as well as on-site vehicle maintenance.

It moved to larger premises in Novar Place, Aberdeen, earlier this year and is now looking to expand its workforce to meet demand.

New contracts worth several thousand pounds have been secured recently, while he has also added a new mobile van to his fleet.

Mr Mitchell, who started his business in his sister’s garage in 2018 and went full-time in July 2020, said: “Business has been really good.

“The problem we had at our old premises was that we could only fit one car at a time and each job could take three to four days, leaving us with a long waiting list.

lr Aron Radics and Marcus Mitchell outside the company’s new premises on Novar Place.

“When we moved to Novar Place it was a shock because I could fit three cars in the unit and it reduced the waiting list.

“We are now looking to recruit one more member of staff and then hopefully another.

“We also bought another van to meet the demand for mobile work and won contracts to work on car fleets for estate agents and oil companies.”

Impact of the cost crisis

As for the business cost crisis, Mr Mitchell, backed by his head of mobile, Aron Radics, was helped by him securing a two-year fixed energy contract four months ago.

But he was forced to raise prices, due to rising costs of materials and services.

He said: “When we moved into this building I freaked out and thought it would be a fortune because we were using more equipment and lights.

“But I have a smart meter, so keep an eye on it, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought.

“A lot of companies panicked and raised their prices without even knowing what was going on.

“Our service providers have increased their prices by 8%. We tried to keep it below that, but earlier this month we had to raise prices by 8%. Our customers were happy with it. »

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[Oil worker to open pet shop plus expansion at Aberdeen valet firm]

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