Jamie Judson has tapped into her love of animals and her hometown of Grosse Pointe by opening a new pet store in the Village shopping district on Kercheval Avenue.
opened Oct. 10 at 17027 Kercheval in a 1,600-square-foot space advertised with a stylized metallic sign that is easily one of the most creative and eye-catching in the area.
Judson says the best way to describe her vision for City Bark is a farmer's market of pet shops, where the selection is always fresh and changing. It is the opposite of big chains and more comfortable than high-end boutiques.
"The difference between City Bark and other pet stores is comparing the situation to a grocery store and a farmer’s market. You go to the grocery store, list in hand, knowing what you’re going to buy. You know what products are there and where to find them. It’s the same thing with a generic pet store. You are going there for something specific. But when you go to a farmer’s market, you go to explore. You go because the items are always changing. It’s about the experience, and that’s exactly what we aim for with City Bark."
Judson, 25, works full-time for a digital marketing company in Ferndale and part-time at the store, which also supports the Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption Society. Judson volunteers there and is fostering a St. Bernard mix. She also owns a German shepherd and a 24-year-old cockatoo that she adopted in the summer. The dogs and the bird, Cleo, are regulars at the store, and shoppers are invited to bring their pets along.
City Bark sells accessories for pets and pet lovers: collars, leashes, toys, fashion accessories, and home décor. Pet food and pet treats are also sold, as are pet beds and clothing for people.
"All of our products are unique, and the majority of them cannot be found at any big-box pet store," Judson says. "I had always talked about opening up a pet boutique with my family since I love animals so much and I am always looking for new, fun items for my dogs. This summer the pieces fell into place and we moved forward with City Bark."
Having a shop in the Village makes becoming a business owner all the more sweet.
"Just like most Grosse Pointers, the Village is part of my every day life. It's great to be able to bring something I'm so passionate about to a place I have such fond memories of."
Source: Jamie Judson, owner, City Bark
Writer: Kim North Shine