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Business Roundup: Bobby's Pet Grooming in Poway offers a new place to pamper your pooch – The San Diego Union-Tribune

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Courtesy Scott Thomas
Scott and Erica Thomas relax with their border collie, Bobby, who is the mascot for their Bobby’s Pet Grooming business.
Julie Gallant
Bobby’s Pet Grooming opened at 12674 Poway Road in October 2023.
Courtesy Scott Thomas
The Thomas family have their dog, Bobby, groomed at their own shop in Poway.
Courtesy Scott Thomas
Groomer Ashley Montague and her husband, Eric, spend time with their two German shepherds.

Scott Thomas, owner of the new Bobby’s Pet Grooming in Poway, and his business partner Ashley Montague are both big dog fans.
A telling sign is that Thomas named his business after his 8-year-old border collie, Bobby.
“I love dogs and that’s the reason I opened this store,” said Thomas, who shares Bobby and two cats with his wife, Erica Thomas.
Montague loves dogs, too, he said. She has two German shepherds and she be getting a mini-Aussie soon, he said.
Bobby’s Pet Grooming opened at 12674 Poway Road last October.
The Thomases, who live in Rancho Penasquitos, moved from Ohio in 2019. At the time, Scott Thomas was working in management consulting. When COVID hit in early 2020 Thomas saw his work dry up.
About the same time the couple were having a difficult time finding a groomer that was a good fit for Bobby. Sometimes Bobby misbehaved in the shops and got kicked out, Thomas said, and one compatible groomer only lasted a year.
“I did not leave my job as a consultant because I wanted to open a grooming shop,” Thomas said. “During COVID my job was pretty much non-existent for a year and I didn’t want to travel anymore. In thinking of something new to do, all the pieces just fell together.”
Thomas considered buying a grooming shop in San Diego but decided he’d rather open his own store and name it after his dog. He found the perfect location for his new business while driving to LA Fitness in Poway and saw a vacancy nearby.
By January 2023 construction work began on remodeling the former Boost Mobile store into a pet grooming shop. Improvements were made to add wash tubs, four grooming stations and a check-in and check-out area.
Thomas also modified the set-up with large TV monitors arranged on mobile carts. The monitors show examples of what the client’s dogs will look like after they are groomed as sort of a “cheat-sheet” guide for the groomers to replicate, he said.
“When I first opened, people were showing me what they wanted their dogs to look like on their phones,” Thomas said. “Now the TVs have a picture of what the dog looks like when groomed. We try to use technology here as best we can.”
Montague takes videos of dogs in the shop, edits them and makes cute snippets of videos to show off Bobby’s Pet Grooming on Instagram.
“We’re the only groomer in Poway right now that has on Google all five-star reviews,” Thomas said. “Someday we’ll lose that title, but for now we have 38 five-star reviews.”
Thomas takes charge of bathing the dogs and Montague, a professional pet groomer, does the grooming. Other services available from staff, who include two part-time employees, are spa baths, haircuts, ear cleaning and nail trimming.
“All of our dogs get a bandanna or a couple of bow ties depending on if they are a boy dog or girl dog,” he said.
For now, the store focuses on only grooming dogs but the business may expand in the near future to include grooming for cats, Thomas said. Customers with cats are referred to Pure Grooming down the street at 12222 Poway Road, Suite 20.
“We’re definitely a smaller, more personable shop than Petco is,” Thomas said. “We go down there to get supplies and they’re very nice people there. We just offer a different experience. We’re more of a mom-and-pop shop.”
Bobby’s Pet Grooming is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, call 858-848-0467.
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