Lenny, Emily, and Baxter

Central Bark

Former Steel Company Employee Opens Central Bark with his Wife to Stay Closer to Home

How Central Bark helped this successful marketing and sales manager change careers and expand his business portfolio

After working for many years at a steel company in Milwaukee after college, Lenny Hoisington found himself at a bit of a crossroads. Tired of the corporate bureaucracy and searching for something that would keep him and his wife closer to their hometown of Rochester, Minnesota, Lenny was looking for an opportunity to branch out on his own.

“I had a huge decision ahead of me. I could commit to remaining at the steel company, which meant a corporate path I felt little passion for, or I could change my lifestyle completely and pursue something on my own,” said Lenny. “Ultimately I chose the latter after realizing how important family and balance was to me.”

Lenny’s introduction to the Central Bark brand came in the form of being a customer of the Central Bark Westside in Milwaukee where Baxter, his pit bull and hound mix, was a member. After Baxter’s first visit, Lenny has not looked back since.

“I had always discussed with my wife the idea of starting a business and knew that our disciplined approach and commitment to success would serve us well in whatever we did,” said Lenny. “We explored some options, but I kept coming back to Central Bark because of that initial, incredible experience we had as customers with Baxter. Furthermore, I knew my love of dogs was something I wanted to build a business around and Central Bark is a proven system that I did not have to invent from scratch.”     

The Hoisingtons knew they wanted to move back to Rochester, MN to be closer to family and thankfully Minnesota was just opened as a Central Bark growth market at the time. On June 5, 2019, Lenny opened his Central Bark Rochester and just a few short years later, he is already considering additional opportunities with the brand.

“We learned early on in our franchise search that whatever business we chose needed to be something we could imagine ourselves doing,” said Lenny. “Our customer experience at Central Bark was an incredibly important piece of that puzzle for us. Plus, what attracted me to the brand is Central Bark’s larger mission of whole dog care and enrichment that creates a safe environment for dogs to play, exercise and socialize.”

Since making the decision to join Central Bark, Lenny has grown his Rochester location into one of the top performing units across the nearly 40-unit franchise system. He attributes his success to Central Bark’s high standards and also the fact that he is hands-on in his facility.

“I’m in our location every day,” said Lenny. “We have an unbelievable team and a supremely dedicated staff that we work hard to take care of, but as an owner and operator – there is no replacement to understanding all aspects of your business’ operations first-hand. It’s the only way to build a strong team and grow.”

Lenny’s hard work is paying off. Despite the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and an initial few weeks of uncertainty, Lenny’s commitment to his customers, his constant communication and willingness to step outside his four walls to market his business has allowed his Central Bark Rochester to not only rebound but thrive.

“There is so much potential with Central Bark across all of Minnesota and beyond,” said Lenny. “Our mission and commitment to dog behavior and the science behind it along with our amazing day care services, grooming, boarding, training, retail and other revenue channels allows us to be perfectly positioned for today’s dog owner. There is an undeniable energy in our facilities. They are fun, bright, clean and inviting. I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life.”

To learn more or inquire why Central Bark is one of the best franchises to buy, visit centralbarkusa.com/franchising.

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