Raw Pride of Wirral - Dog's Diner

Raw and Proud, No Kibble Allowed!!

 

The beginning of an incredible journey................

 

Ann Ridyard wrote the first of the 'Dog's Dinner' books in 2007.  It was a simple introduction to raw feeding, which sold moderately well considering it was an expensive, hard back book, with full colour bleed photographs and not a great deal of information! 


Ann was however truly engrossed in the RAW world by now, having seen the differences that raw feeding had made to her Husband's client's dogs (Chris was a professional groomer) their own dogs, their friends dogs, she set out to spread the word and the best way was through the internet..........

Wirral's 1st dedicated RAW feeding store was opened in August 2013, in the tiniest shop you have ever seen! Despite this we crammed as many freezers into the space we had.  Our tiny toilet doubled up as our office and stock room!  We now fondly call it  'The Hole in the Wall'!  Within months of opening we knew ( I say we, as by now my son Zak was a partner) that we were definitely going to need a bigger place!
    In 2008, Ann published her raw learning website and this went on to reach 1000s of people, it was and still is being used as a learning point by raw social groups and sites.

Later in 2008, 'The Dog's Dinner - Revisited' was published and sales were very impressive, it still remains one of the most popular raw books available.

Ann spent years on the internet on forums and groups, helping people to swap their dogs over to a raw method of feeding and her journey led her to want to open her own 'Raw Feeding Store'..........

Our work conditions were less than ideal, my Husband Chris retired from grooming and also jumped on board with the Diner.  We then used the free space in the grooming studio to house walk in freezers.  Fortunately the Diner and old Grooming Studio were quite close to each other, on the same road which allowed van loads of frozen food to be taken from the walk in freezers, up the road and into the tiny Diner.  There was no official parking outside and it was a full time job to keep it stocked.  We just kept getting busier, but the shop seemed to shrink!

We opened the tiny Dog's Diner in Wallasey in August 2013, but just 4 months later, in December we began to view bigger properties.  My daughter Sophie was now also a partner, our kids had grown up with RAW, so this seemed to all be part of the journey we were making together, as a family.  Never had something seemed so important, as we knew we could not continue to grow the business in a 'Hole in the Wall'.

We were offered shops and we viewed many and had almost lost heart in finding the perfect location and then Chris found it! Right under our nose in Moreton.  We set about agreeing terms and making the changes we needed to make this wonderful new place our own. The new Dog's Diner seemed Massive after what we had been used to!  We couldn't have been happier!

Everything seemed to come together at once, less than 2 years after the tiny Diner opened, it closed and the new Dog's Diner was born.  the new Diner opened in May 2015  and suddenly we had space, scope and vision.

Ann wanted the Dog's Diner to be a raw feeder's paradise ~ the kind of place she would like to shop!  Now driven by her children's input and amazed by their knowledge and enthusiasm (Ann had previously thought her children had never listened to her rantings about RAW!!!)  the Diner continued to thrive...........

The family team, after a few hiccups learning to work together, formed a brand new bond in the form of a proper family business.  By now, Sophie's long term partner, Ian Rooney had joined the team, another keen RAW feeder himself, his addition just strengthened the team.   

The journey continues...................

We had no sooner settled in to the new place before the unit next door to us became available and unbelievably, what had once seemed so huge, suddenly again felt very small.  It seemed like fate & the unit next to us was now empty and just begging to be filled with walk in freezers!!
So......... Only months after we moved, we expanded!!  We now have a small army of walk in freezers which feed Dog's Diner, all housed in their own separate storage unit, next door.
Keeping the Diner full is not as difficult as it used to be and we are now able to do it all under cover, no more pallet drops on pavements in the pouring rain! Work continues in the unit next door but it is now fully functional and gives us the storage space we so desperately needed to grow the business.

We have one or two more plans for the Dog's Diner but we couldn't be happier with our new location........... onwards & upwards.