Thursday, June 17, 2021

Gangsta Dog Plans To Expand To Williamsburg

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YORK — Gangsta Dog, a new pet store on Riverwalk Landing, has only been open a month and is already looking to expand to Williamsburg.

Gary Hughes, who owns the establishment with his wife, Laura, said plans are in the works to open a satellite location at a restaurant in Williamsburg hopefully by Memorial Day. Hughes declined to release the name of the restaurant until the plans are finalized.

Gangsta Dog specializes in homemade dog biscuits and other products specifically for dogs. The satellite store in Williamsburg would be the third location for Gangsta Dog. Hughes opened his first store in Kentucky about eight years ago after operating his business at farmers markets and in a mobile store.

Gary and his wife relocated to Virginia last fall to be closer to family and decided to open a Gangsta Dog store in Yorktown after walking their dogs along the riverwalk.

“There were people everywhere with their dogs, and I just thought we needed to open a store here,” Hughes said.

Gangsta Dog carries regular dog biscuits, which Hughes makes himself, as well as biscuits for dogs with special needs and diet restrictions. The pet shop also has a meat bar with meat sticks of varying sizes; a birthday line with cakes, cupcakes, and a “barkuterie” board; and dog doughnuts, which have been a big hit.

“We sold 300 dog doughnuts in four weeks,” Hughes said.

The shop also sells CBD oil for dogs, leases, toys, bandanas, and other accessories as well as its own line of dog food and cookies.

“We also have dog wine, dog champagne, and dog ice cream,” Hughes said.

Hughes and his wife own four dogs, Bruiser, Daisy, Pretty Boy Copper, and Eliza Scarface Doolittle. The couple named their pet store Gangsta Dog in honor of Bruiser, a mixed breed dog.

“It’s been so amazing,” Hughes said of Gangsta Dog’s success.

He said eventually he would like to open full stores in Williamsburg and Virginia Beach and even franchise the business. Hughes also hopes to start selling his products nationally.

“What I love about our customers is that they understand that dogs are social animals and want to be a part of the family,” Hughes said. “When someone gives you unconditional love, you want to give them the very best.”

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