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Love at First Bark: Central Bark Continues its Growth in the Southeast

Since our inception more than 20 years ago, Central Bark has become one of the most popular brands and sought-after dog franchise concepts. Since opening our first doggy day care location in Milwaukee, Central Bark has expanded its service lines and locations to communities across the country. Over the last several years, momentum has picked up steam with Central Bark signing on multiple new multi-unit and multi-brand franchise owners along with single unit operators to top new markets like Columbia, Jacksonville, and Orlando.

Anthony and Courtney Girolamo are the husband-and-wife team and business partners behind one of Central Bark’s newest units in Columbia, SC. The two come from a diverse background of retail and education, but their passion for dogs and a goal of small business ownership put them on the path they are on today.

“I grew up with dogs and the thought of being around them all day, every day sounded really good to me,” said Anthony, co-owner Central Bark West Columbia. “Being in retail for over a decade gave me a solid background in customer service and operations and with Central Bark’s amazing training, infrastructure, and ongoing support, joining the system made perfect sense for us. Now I get to combine my people skills with my passion for animals.”

After spending nearly 14 years with the Publix Supermarket chain in various management roles, Anthony decided that he wanted to be in business for himself. He looked at other franchise and business opportunities but kept coming back to his passion for dogs. Central Bark was always at the top of his list because our philosophy has always been about whole dog care that combines the latest in canine behavioral science with a healthy and balanced blend of exercise, social group play, learning, rest, and “TLC” to help dogs be healthy, happy, calm, and well-rounded members of the family.

“We were so blown away by Central Bark’s approach to dog care,” he said. “We instantly felt comfortable with the company and wanted to be a part of the team that would take this brand to the next level. We recognized right away the unique opportunity that Central Bark could provide us and decided to introduce the concept to our growing Columbia market.”

The Girolamo family visited several stores to explore how each location functioned inside and out. “We had never owned a dog business before, which I thought might be tricky, so we were doubtful about the simplicity at first,” says Anthony. “We saw how it operated, and it was an instant no-brainer for us. Everything is seamless, with streamlined processes, multiple service lines to drive profitability, tons of training and ongoing support, and a super smart and efficient model.”

The foundation for Central Bark franchise ownership begins with the basics – a commitment to the communities in which we operate, built around the latest in canine behavioral science and positive reinforcement training. While doggy day care is at our core, we have grown and introduced new service lines along the way to diversify our revenue streams while refining our

systems and procedures for dog care. Today, a typical Central Bark features day care, sleepovers, training & enrichment, salon & spa, puppy hour, retail market, and more. These simple, but effective pillars of business are a big reason why so many Central Bark owners continue to eclipse the $1M in revenue mark while thriving in today’s marketplace.

With a strong brand identity, excellent franchisee relationships, and a passionate executive team firmly established, Central Bark boasts an initial investment that ranges from $520,063 – $874,556, including an initial franchise fee of $45,000. As a Central Bark franchisee, you’ll be joining a national dog day care franchise in the $200 billion plus pet care space.

With plenty of room to still grow across the U.S., Central Bark continues to be one of the best performing franchise systems in the industry. We possess some of the most experienced real estate professionals in the business that can help candidates find optimal locations that fit specific needs and market conditions. Plus, our highly scalable business model allows for tremendous growth.

For more information on franchise ownership, visit centralbarkusa.com/franchising.

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“We believe every dog and every family deserves the Central Bark experience. Your dog becomes a part of our family at Central Bark, and we love giving you a healthier and happier companion at the end of each day.”

– Chris Gaba and Jackie Jordan, Co-founders of Central Bark