Debbie Tantrum has been a nurse for over 30 years, but when her mother fell ill with Covid over Christmas and spent 63 days in intensive care – life changed for the whole family.
Although Debbie’s mother is now back home, she will never be herself again and Debbie had to finish working in the hospital to take care of her.
But when one door closes another opens, and in Debbie’s case, it was the door to a new dog grooming business.
With a love of dogs and other animals her entire life, it was a natural progression for Debbie as she breeds beagles and grooms her dogs at home.
She said: “The idea came to us after my mom was so bad on Christmas. “The whole family chatted and our original idea was to get in a van and get around.
“But we saw this little old listed building store in Bishop’s Castle High Street and realized after seeing that it would be this one.”
So they opened Castle Dog Groomers at 19 High Street, and for the first two weeks business has been good.
The team includes Debbie, 50, who is a trained City and Guilds dog groomer, her daughter Alice Humphreys and stepdaughter Sara Elin Williams, both 27.
Alice and Sara are grooming assistants and they will be going to college to get their town and guilds starting in September.
The company provides all grooming services, from swimming to spa treatments, all of their products are organic and 100% natural.
The team are happy to have anyone come in for a chat to discuss their dog’s needs or even ask for advice.
They have just launched an online reservation system and have now picked up their van after its signs were written by Paul from the Sign Stop in Church Stretton.
Debbie added: “Alice and Sara both have young children who have just started nursery, and they are struggling to find jobs due to our rural environment and the need to work with children. So we thought that this idea would be great, the girls will take turns working with me in the shop and working with the children.
“Since May, we’ve been very busy getting the store ready, trying to get all the equipment we need. During this pandemic, it has been very difficult to get everything we need, but we are getting there slowly.
“We received a lot of help, including an online business course called From Good To Great, which I can highly recommend. This is a free course taught by the Shropshire Council, Telford & Wrekin Council, Marches Growth Hub and the European Union, as well as Rob Mckay of Enterprise House, Head of Business Development at Bishops Castle.
“Rob, he informed me that a questionnaire had been sent to the local residents of Bishops Castle in February and that one of the main results was that they were requesting pet services.
“Since opening the store this month, we haven’t looked back, we’ve been so busy.
“We have had so many local residents who came to say hello and wish us good luck for the future, everyone is so happy that we have opened up to provide services for pets.
“I even did a little interview on BBC Radio Shropshire. We want to say a big thank you to everyone who helped and supported us.
They are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Castle Dog Groomers can be found on Facebook or on their website www.castledoggroomers.co.uk or call 01588 630760.