WELCOME TO SMOOCH MY POOCH
Central’s premier doggie daycare, salon and boutique!
“Dogs are not our whole life but they make our lives whole.” – Roger Caras
18235 Magnolia Bridge Rd.
Greenwell Springs, LA 70739
Smooch my Pooch is Central’s premier doggie daycare, grooming salon, overnight boarding facility and boutique located in the Central/Greenwell Springs area. The business is owned by Shauna Nicosia and she successfully runs it with the help of her sister Shelley Black, her mom Robyn Parker and a wonderful caring staff.
Ten years ago, Shauna’s sister Shelley, with the help of her parents, purchased a mobile grooming van. Not only was she the first in Central to offer the service, but the first in the Baton Rouge area. It was a huge success. Working in the mobile van became difficult with the birth of her first child so she sold the van. Having been born and raised in Central, Shauna’s family saw a need for a dog grooming salon. “So my mom, my sister and I said, ‘Let’s do it!’ ”
Smooch my Pooch opened its doors in 2007. Shauna explains, “We opened up a one groomer salon and a small doggie daycare. Eight years later we have expanded into so much more. We have 3 certified full time groomers, 3 large indoor/outdoor play areas, overnight and extended stay boarding, and the ever popular U-Shampooch. Customers can bring in their dirty pooch and we supply the rest. We have waist high tubs, towels, shampoos, colognes and more. We also have a great boutique with treats, apparel and lots of LSU items.”
The daycare for dog’s service they provide has been well received by the public. “The principle behind doggie daycare is simple” says Shauna. “We provide a safe and healthy atmosphere with lots of interaction, both with other dogs and with people. Dogs can participate in group play, gnaw on a favorite toy, hang out with humans, or just lounge and watch television. The point is that they’re not at home alone.
“Doggie Daycare allows your pet to play and socialize with other dogs. It is a safe place for your pet to be while you are at work or during home maintenance, pest control or cleaning person visits. It prevents hours alone that can result in separation anxiety, destructive behavior and boredom. You can view your pooch on our webcam anytime and anywhere.
“Smooch my Pooch has grown so much in the last 8 years, so much, so that we ran out of room. We built our own building, just down the road from our former location. Our new address is 18235 Magnolia Bridge Rd., Greenwell Springs, LA 70739. It is almost twice the size, and we opened in October, 2015. It has 3 indoor/outdoor play areas, much more boarding room and 8 cameras so customers can watch their pooch while they play. We are very excited about this move and look forward to growing with this community for years to come.”
Shauna feels libraries have been an important part of her life. She says, “As a child my mom always brought us to the Central library, it was just the little white building on Hooper Road. I remember how exciting it was to have my own card and to sign the back. She would even bring us for the read-alongs and other activities. The building probably wasn’t bigger than 1000 sq ft but to me and my sister it was the best part of our day. We were home schooled for a couple years so the library was a huge part of our learning experience.”
“Now I read a lot of pet journals and magazines. I’m always looking for articles to improve my business, whether it is me as a boss, ways to make sure the dogs are happy while they’re with us, or ways to increase revenue. During this building process I’ve been able to purchase and implement a lot of the tools and ideas I’ve learned through these different magazines. I still mostly read paper magazines and books. I’ve tried reading online and I just get too distracted.”
Shauna is proud to be a small business in the Central community. The Central Chamber of Commerce presented Smooch my Pooch with the Small Business of the Year Award for 2014. “Not only was it an honor but it is something I try to work at every day. Small businesses are so important for this community because the members really do care and want to keep their money local. It is definitely our job to give them the best service we can so they not only stay but keep us growing and working!” Shauna says.
“I’ve learned so much about myself over the last 8 ½ years. When we first started I was so concerned about the “business” aspect, I was missing the personal touch. I hadn’t learned yet what customer service really was. For us it could be as simple as going out front and helping someone in and out of the car with their dog or looking at pictures on their phone of a new puppy. It took me a few years to slow down and enjoy not only the dogs but their owners too.
“Of course we all have room for improvement but I tell my employees all the time even if you feel silly or don’t want to, ALWAYS greet and thank every customer. It’s just as important to them as it is to me.”