C’Mon, Get Yappy – www.smileypete.com
Owners and their canines can enjoy an “amusement bark, ” dog-washing stations, training areas, aquatic facilities and more at new Chevy Chase business
Yappy Place, in the heart of Chevy Chase on South Ashland Avenue, is a new business offering a variety of services for our beloved canine companions. Unlike many other canine-related businesses in town, it’s not a boarding, grooming or daycare facility, but a place that specializes in training, exercise, self-service washing machines plus entertainment for dogs.
Co-founders Kim Badenhop and Dana Taylor met at Henry Clay High School and have remained friends. “We are both lifelong dog lovers who wanted an opportunity to chart our own course and be self-employed, ” Badenhop said.
They started looking for a space for their business concept in February 2021, ultimately finding a location on Southern Ashland Avenue across the street from John’s Run/Walk Shop, Simply Blue Salon and PetWants. The business launched a phased opening this past November, beginning with automated self-service dog-wash machines that provide “an opportunity to bathe dogs more efficiently with less mess, ” Badenhop said.
Formerly home to one of the John’s Run/Walk Shop locations on one side and Fitness Collective on the other, Yappy Place looks like two separate buildings from the street and has separate addresses, but it is actually one large, connected space. One door serves as the primary entrance for the dog wash area while the other opens into an activity area called the Amusement Bark. The center door opens into an area featuring aquatic treadmills, a pool for the dogs and a retail space for customers that will include dog treats.
“We know this is a new concept for Lexington, [but] we expect dog owners here are ready for these types of opportunities and activities for their dogs, ” Badenhop said. “We have received a lot of positive feedback through every dog owner we talk with, from dog professionals to the people we talked with by telephone to get the utilities turned on. ”
Yappy Place is offering packages for dog birthdays, “gotcha day” parties or any other special occasions in “a safe location to celebrate our four-legged best friends without having to prepare and clean up at home, ” Badenhop said. “We also want to work with local rescue groups to host adoption events and fundraisers. ”
Badenhop spent two decades in Washington, D. C., working primarily in operational management jobs with the federal government. Prior to moving back to Lexington in 2020, she worked at the office responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of U. S. embassies and consulates around the world.
“The services and options we are offering at Yappy Place were popular in other locations where I lived, ” she said. “We looked at the trends in the pet industry and the growing market there nationwide. We also researched the population associated with dogs in Fayette plus surrounding counties to ensure there was sufficient dog population to support the business. ”
Taylor is a native Lexingtonian. She attended the University of Kentucky, and after raising her children, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of the Cumberlands. In addition to co-founding Yappy Place, she is the financial administrator with regard to Apostles Anglican Church and a bookkeeper for Fayette County Public Schools.
The Yappy Place co-founders are excited to be new business owners in Lexington.
“Lexington is a great community with great diversity and a lot of opportunity for entrepreneurs, ” Badenhop said. “We are thrilled to be located in a very dog-friendly commercial area in Chevy Chase. ”