A new shop has opened in Chesterfield catering to every need of our canine companions, providing portraits, natural treats and remedies, handmade collars, personalised dog-themed gifts, luxury toys and much more.
Barkworthy Dog Emporium can be found in the Theatre Yard area of Chesterfield Town Centre, after owners Anthony and Carole Foster decided to relocate to the town from Manchester.
Anthony said: “We moved to Chesterfield from Manchester in July this year with the intention of escaping the congestion and overcrowding of city life. We had heard about Chesterfield and its historic roots but were unprepared for how clean and unspoilt it really was.
“It’s fair to say we were captivated by the town immediately, its bustling market and quaint alleys which led us to all sorts of independent local shops. This immediately piqued our interest, for that is exactly what we planned to do. Set up a quirky, emporium style outlet that catered for dog lovers everywhere, focused on natural products and ethically sustainable.”
Anthony says the shop was almost exclusively online, with the new store being the couple’s first bricks-and-mortar venture. Anthony explained that one of the things that drew them to the town was the efforts to drive more visitors into the town as part of the #LoveChesterfield campaign:
“We were heartened to see stilt-walkers in flowing robes, flower displays and colourful entertainment designed to entice shoppers back to the area. We understood this was undoubtedly part of a concerted campaign, and such efforts could only be beneficial for anybody wanting to set up business here.
“It seemed that people liked to shop local, to see and feel the products they were buying and the wealth of small businesses prospering cheek-by-jowl with the usual retail giants bore that out. We spoke to stallholders and small business owners, who naturally bemoaned the tribulations of a difficult year, but were generally satisfied and optimistic for the future. This gave us hope and confidence.
“When we saw the empty shop on Theatre Yard in the Low Pavement area, with its high vaulted windows and niche appeal in a creative little space, it immediately felt as though our vision had found its natural home.”
Following that, Anthony was quickly in touch with Chesterfield Borough Council’s commercial property team, to explore the possibility of moving into the new store.
He explained: “We set about pursuing a lease from the council for this property, which in addition to being perfect for our new venture, serendipitously housed a huge statue of a dog outside!
“Claire and Hannah from the council were incredibly helpful, answering our questions and taking the time to keep us apprised at every stage. Claire even responded to one email inquiry on a Sunday evening, when I imagine most people would much rather be relaxing in front of the TV with a glass of wine!
“Knowing we were dealing with real people who were just as invested as ourselves made all the difference in coming to a decision to choose Chesterfield for our business.”
The store is now open to visitors, and Anthony explained why the store will provide a unique experience for dog-lovers in Chesterfield and beyond:
“Carole is the trustee of a charity which rescues and rehomes unwanted Sled Dogs and Northern breeds, while I am an artist specialising in pastel portraits of wildlife and pets.
“Dedicating part of the shop as a studio and sitting in the window at my easel seemed a good way to attract visitors, while Carole’s contacts with various artisan pet suppliers through her charity work stood us in good stead to bring products and services to the area that are a little different to the standard fayre purveyed through the chain pet stores.
“As well as artisan treats, dog deli style birthday cakes and gift boxes, we have a wealth of handmade items, collars and leads and also personalised mugs, bags, cushions and photo gifts upon which patrons can have their favourite pet pictures imprinted.
“We treat our dogs like family, spoiling and pampering them, always looking for that one gift or treat that makes their tails wag that bit harder. Our overarching ambition for Barkworthy Dog Emporium is to embrace with the community of Chesterfield a shared love of pets and create a local, friendly, accessible port of call for all their dog’s needs.”
You can find out more about locating your business in Chesterfield at: https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/business/commercial-property-search/