A school that teaches the art of pet grooming has plans to move into downtown Anoka.
Pucci Pet Career Studios hopes to relocate to 121 E. Main St. – the building once home to U.S. Bank.
The business received approval for its conditional use permit last month from the Anoka City Council.
While the vote was unanimous, Councilmember Jeff Weaver abstained. Weaver owns the building at the corner of Main Street and Second Avenue where the state vocational school licensed by the Minnesota Department of Higher Education hopes to be located. He said lease negotiations are underway.
Pucci Pet Career Studios is a family business currently owned and operated by Mary Faith Moore and Molly Rosenak in Long Lake.
According to Rosenak, Pucci’s current grooming salon has been expanded and the school has got too big.
“We have too many students and we need more space,” she said.
Moore said there are only a number of pet grooming vocational schools in the Midwest.
“It will bring people of course in to town to shop,” said Moore. “But it also brings students in from all over the Midwest. We are one of only three schools in Minnesota and one of only five schools in the Midwest, five-state area.”
Anoka was attractive to the owners because of its more urban location, and the housing options for students nearby.
There will be up to 10 students and three instructors at the site each day. They will work grooming 10 to 15 dogs on a daily basis between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.
“There’s low cost grooming for residents with their dogs,” Moore said. “If they let us practice on their dogs – which typically does take a lot longer than the professionals – then we offer up to a 50 percent discount rate on the grooming.”
This is Moore’s second pet grooming school. She also owned nationally accredited Twin Cities Pet Grooming for 20 years.
The school will include an indoor exercise area for the pets as well as a soundproof kennel room (the former bank vault) where the animals will be kept awaiting pickup.
According to the owners, Pucci has worked with other businesses who successfully use indoor pet parks and also has one at its current location in Long Lake.
In addition to the grooming school, Pucci will also have a retail store selling pet necessities and accessories.
The grooming school also intends to purchase parking permits for its staff and students, a point of discussion among the Planing Commission, said Associate City Planner Crystal Paumen.
The council sees the grooming school as an interesting addition to Anoka’s downtown.
“People will bring their dogs to be groomed and maybe hang out in Anoka for a couple hours. It seems like a good thing,” said Councilmember Mark Freeburg.
Councilmember Carl Anderson agreed. “This one really surprises me but I think it’s a wonderful addition to downtown Anoka,” he said.
Mandy Moran Froemming is at [email protected]