By ALMA J. BUELVA
WHAT started as a pet grooming salon in August 2015 has morphed into a full pet cafe two years later that gives its canine customers and their doting owners thoughtful services fit for a queen.
Barkingham Pet Cafe is located in E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue in Quezon City, a long and busy stretch of road with not much points of interests to offer. So, when a humble pet-friendly establishment with English ambiance opened shop, it attracted a steady stream of dog-loving customers who perhaps also love their teas.
The name Barkingham and the logo of a dog wearing a bearskin hat captured exactly what the British people hold dear in their hearts: their royals and their dogs. Both set the tone for what Filipino dog lovers can expect when they visit the Barkingham Pet Cafe: a royal treatment.
While Barkingham has no red carpet rolled out for visitors, its attention to details helps carry out that London theme in every nook and cranny of the place. Adding a cafe to their dog parlor was a natural progression to give dog owners a place to relax while their dogs are being groomed.
“We specialize in unhurried quality service...We thought there was more we can do for our beloved pet owners who are waiting for their pets to finish their groom. Barkingham is a chill hangout spot for people and pets,” said Pearl Choco, Barkingham's manager.
The cafe area teems with items for humans and dogs alike. The menu lists sandwiches and coffees and teas for the two-legged guests, while paws-ta, pupper patties and sundry items are available for the four-legged ones.
Unlike the usual pet cafes that feature resident pets that guests can play with, Barkingham has no in-house pets. The ones you'll see there are paying (dog) customers who are there for a bath or trim or to nibble on Barkingham's homemade baked dog treats. Pearl said they get visited by at least a hundred pets a week.
“Pet grooming shops are all similar, but we take pride in the connection and genuine love we have for every pet (and pet owner) that comes through our doors,” added Pearl.
True enough, Barkingham uniquely has a veterinarian on standby to check on every dog after being groomed.
“We believe pets and their owners deserve much more, so we put up an in-house vet office to promote a 360-degree wellness of pets...We offer free vet check-ups for our clients after every full groom,” Pearl told MetroPets.
Barkingham's veterinarian is available from Monday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm to provide free check-ups, vaccinations and minor surgeries.
Barkingham's royal-class offerings have customers from south of Metro Manila asking for a branch there. Pearl said they have no expansion plans at the moment, but they are open to building a bigger and better Barkingham for pet owners to enjoy.
“We want to provide only the best service we can and to be a pet's second home where we love and care for them as our own,” she said.