LOOKING FORWARD Groom Kennel's John Burke.
Grooming Kennel could leave Dragons in the doghouse
Last Friday, John Burke launched his new business The Grooming Kennel in Ballyhaunis – less than a year after appearing on RTÉ’s Dragons’ Den. The Dragons were not persuaded to invest, but that didn’t stop Burke from realising his dream.
When RTÉ cameras caught up with Burke last Thursday for a follow-up programme, which will be broadcast in May, he was very upbeat. Speaking to The Mayo News, he said: “The production team were delighted because they want to be able to tell the dragons, ‘You should have invested in that’.”
John Burke believes the future is bright for his business. “I have the patent on the product, and the pet market is one of the few markets which is growing year on year, so I’m very optimistic.”
The Grooming Kennel functions as as a warm, dry kennel and also doubles as a bath with a built-in shower for washing your pet. Dog owners can therefore wash Fido while simultaneously cleaning his bed.
Burke has 1,000 kennels ready for sale. He plans to attend the Irish Kennel Club St Patrick’s Day dog show in Clondalkin, Dublin, where he will be demonstrating the benefits of his invention to between 700 and 1,200 prospective buyers.
Burke has also recently put a kennel on display at the Connacht Gold DIY and Garden Store in Sligo. Connacht Gold is considering selling Grooming Kennels in their 30 retail stores throughout Connacht, Leinster and Donegal.
Speaking about his appearance on Dragons’ Den, Burke says he has no bone to pick with the Dragons. In fact, he says the show gave his business a boost. “It was very positive. It got the name out there. It was amazing no matter where I went in the country strangers were coming up to me talking about the Den and they knew the product so it was definitely an opening.”
Burke believes there is genuine interest in the product and its originality and convenience will prove to be very popular with dog lovers. He concluded, “It’s been a long road but everything is now in place. The biggest obstacle was money, naturally enough, but after some begging and pleading I overcame that. Next week I’ll be getting on the road, and I’ll get selling.”
For more information on The Grooming Kennel, visit www.thegroomingkennel.com.
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