After living in London for years, a dog lover has run away to the seaside and has now opened a general store dedicated to dogs – and people. Jason Pinnick had grown up on the Yorkshire coast but later moved to London and worked in high-end Regent Street retail.
The 42-year-old had ties to North Wales as his mother had moved to Penrhyn Bay and when the pandemic lockdowns hit he felt it was time to leave town. It also gave him the space he needed to develop a business idea that he had “in his head” for years.
Now he has opened a shop for ‘dogs and humans’ in the former BW Ryder leather goods unit on Upper Mostyn Street in Llandudno. Dudley & George’s stocks everything dog owners could want for their pet, but is also a lifestyle store for people, with housewares, stationery, books and other products on offer.
READ MORE: Holidaymakers staying in Wales will NOT have to pay tourist tax for ‘years’
He plans to add a cafe if he gets the go-ahead as well as a grooming salon.
He said: “I’ve been coming to the area for years and it felt like home rather than in the city. When confinement arrived, I made the decision to no longer live in the city.
“I bought a house in Conwy and considered doing something different. I had this business idea in mind for a long time, the pandemic gave me time to develop ideas and also the impulse to take risks. I think for a lot of people the pandemic has been an opportunity to re-evaluate their lives.
Jason has always had a passion for animals and the name of the store comes from two rescue dogs he owned for years. Dudley died two years ago at the ripe old age of 20, while George died a year later aged nine.
He says the idea of being more than a pet store is “unusual”, but he thinks it will appeal to people and hopes to create a community of dog lovers.
He said: “People can come to the store with or without their dog and we stock products you won’t find in most other pet stores. Along with this we will have a section for humans, lifestyle products, all related to a love of animals, nature and a simple way of life.
Although Llandudno is a tourist resort, its primary aim is to be a shop for locals and it is also committed to having as much stock as possible in the area, including dog food developed with Pero, near Betws -y-Coed. He said: “We are focused on local customers, people who come here regularly and build this community, especially when we hope to open the cafe which will also welcome dogs and humans. I am passionate about the dog side, and will listen and learn from clients what they want.
They have transformed the former leather goods store and the shop is now open six days a week, with plans to expand to seven once staff are in place. If successful, there could be more sites.
Jason, who is also going online, added, “I really hope it’s a success, it’s designed so we can open another branch and do it naturally.”