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Full service pet salon, boutique opens in Plymouth

October 15, 2012

Owners Mary and Mike Flores (left and right) hope to fill a gap in Plymouth for pet owners with their new store, Unique Pet Boutique and Grooming Salon. Also pictured: Pet groomer Lisa VanVleet (middle).

PLYMOUTH — Local pet owners interested in spoiling their furry friend now have expanded options. Unique Pet Boutique and Grooming Salon opened in the Kroger shopping plaza last week, and owners Mike and Mary Flores, of Plymouth, can’t wait for the word to get out about their new shop.
“We carry a lot of pet clothing, specialty foods, and products that you can’t find at Wal-Mart,” said Mary.
In addition to the boutique in the front of the building — where interested individuals can, if so inclined, find a Halloween costume or winter sweater for their pet — there is also a full service grooming salon in the back. Mike said he doesn’t want to hide the grooming area, however. He will give tours to anyone who stops in.
“I’m proud of my state-of-the-art facilities, I don’t want to hide them,” said Mike.
He said that he experienced frustration with dropping his own dog off at a groomer’s, only to have the canine whisked out of his sight.
“This way, people know where their pets are and how they are being treated,” said Mike.
Groomer Lisa VanVleet explained the salon’s options, which includes the possibility of a blueberry facial for dogs.
“The blueberry facial smells good and it’s tearless, so it takes off staining and gets off the smell,” said VanVleet. “We really scrub that in and you don’t have to worry about it getting in (the animals’) eyes.”
Other features include a hydromassage machine, where dogs get a massage while they are being washed, extra large grooming tables that adjust to any height, and high velocity blow dryers.
The salon also offers cat grooming, and has a special “cattery” set aside in a different area from where the dogs are groomed.
“We do bling,” said Mary, explaining that the salon has the capacity to dye cat’s fur and add touches like custom nails and feathers.
The Flores previously owned several businesses — a gas station and a tobacco store — in Valparaiso and Munster, but moved to Plymouth to retire. They had visited the area before staying in campgrounds, and found a house that they fell in love with. The couple owns a Yorkie and noticed that there aren’t many options when it comes to pet grooming in the area.
So they decided to make their own. The salon is set up for future expansion. Mike plans to eventually have an outdoor area for dogs to relieve themselves, and the grooming area is outfitted to add more tables later on. Mike and Mary said that they think pet owners might be most interested in the healthy food options they sell, such as Earthborn and Holistic brands.
Since opening, they’ve also heard a lot of requests for specific items from customers. They are keeping a list, and plan to order some of the requested items soon.
“We can order anything a pet owner would want,” said Mike. “People most frequently ask, ‘how much does it cost to get my dog groomed?’ and that depends on the size of the dog. We also hear a lot of requests for sweaters for large dogs.”
Prices for grooming are competitive. The hours of the store are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and the last time for grooming appointments is 4:30 p.m.
Unique Pet Boutique and Grooming Salon is located at 2011 N. Michigan St. The store’s phone number is 574-936-8080.

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