The first Canine to Five, at 3443 Cass Ave. in downtown Detroit, opened in 2005. In 2019, Blondy completed a $1.3 million expansion into its current 16,000-square-foot facility. A 22,000-square-foot Ferndale location opened in 2013. A 15,000-square-foot Commerce Township location opened in 2021.
Blondy told Crain’s that she projects the new location will bring in $750,000 in revenue in 2023. Canine to Five across all locations made more than $5 million in 2022.
The newest Canine to Five will follow a similar blueprint to the existing three locations. It will include increased options for smaller dog breeds, a senior dog lounge and a private play area for dogs that don’t do well in groups or have special needs.
By the time the east side location opens, the number of Canine to Five locations will double in less than three years. Blondy is grateful that it was able to expand during the COVID-19 pandemic, when so many other small businesses were struggling.
“In a lot of ways, I feel like the industry I chose was a great industry to get into,” Blondy said. “The pet care industry as a whole continues to be on the rise. This speaks volumes for how Americans feel about their pets as companions and members of the household.”
The pet services sector is expected to see the most growth of any segment of the pet industry, with spending projected to grow 143 percent to $118 billion by 2030, according to a Morgan Stanley report released in November.
The industry continues to grow, but Blondy said she still faces the same challenges as other small businesses.
“Recruiting is my biggest struggle right now,” she said. “We did a general wage increase last month, which led to some price increases in some areas. I have to compete with other small businesses for great employees. We have great training programs, opportunities for people to move into management. We pay for people to go to school grooming. We’ve increased our contribution to employee health benefits. We’re doing everything we can to get people to come and stay with us.”
Blondy believes there will be even more employment opportunities with Canine to Five in the future.
“There’s always something going on,” Blondy said. “I’m very passionate about caring for other people’s dogs and watching people grow as leaders. There are many reasons to continue to grow. I hope we can continue to do so.”