‘Fancy Schmancy’ Dog Spa Aims to Open on Centre

Nancy Baxter, owner of Fancy Schmancy, a dog spa which hopes to open at 610 Centre St., pauses for a photo on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014.

Chris Helms

Nancy Baxter, owner of Fancy Schmancy, a dog spa which hopes to open at 610 Centre St., pauses for a photo on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014.

A dog spa sporting tongue-in-cheek ritz and promising high-end customer service aims to open at the former Botanica Anaisa location on Centre Street.

Owner Nancy Baxter, whose family’s roots go deep in Jamaica Plain, stopped by the JP Business & Professional Assoc. on Wednesday seeking that group’s blessings for her 610 Centre St. venture.

“Fancy Schmancy” aims to offer dog grooming, daytime boarding, self-service dog washing and a small retail selection.

The business group voted to support the business, but the city bureaucracy hasn’t been so supportive. While Mayor Marty Walsh has made a big splash with promises to streamline permitting for small businesses, Baxter has run into roadblocks. To open, she’ll need to add her planned dog services to the allowed uses at 610 Centre St. Right now, those are just retail, nail salon and laundry. The city turned down her request on Oct. 9, but she is appealing the decision.

Baxter wouldn’t board dogs overnight, but would offer doggie daycare during business hours, which are expected to be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There’s no space in the back of the property for dog walks, but canine customers would get airings via leashed walks at the Pond and the Arboretum.

“It want them to feel they’re having a special experience,” Baxter said of the pampering her dog spa aims to offer.

For instance, dogs would be able to get massages or even chiropractic services. There will be two “wash your own” dog tubs.

Pricing would be in the range of $30 a day for day care, $20 for self-washing and varying rates for grooming depending on the dog’s needs.

The business would also have a small retail section. She’d aim to bring in products that would complement rather than compete with existing dog-oriented businesses like South Street’s Polka Dog Bakery and Hyde Square’s Tails.

Jamaica Plain’s other dog businesses include Pups ‘N Paradise on South Street and a vibrant set of dog walking companies.

If she can surmount the city’s red tape, Baxter plans to hire three employees.

In the beginning, the longtime Saks Fifth Avenue manager explored opening an indoor dog park, which she says are becoming more common in California and Midwest. Finding a proper space for that venture in or near Boston was tough, she said.

But for a business focused on high-level customer service dog grooming, she said 610 Centre St. fits her needs nicely.

“We were really happy to find a place on a real Main Street,” Baxter told the business group, which convened at Bukhara Indian Bistro.

Baxter has lived in JP for two decades. The family she married into goes back even further. For instance, her mother-in-law’s grandfather told stories about learning to drive his Model T in a circle around the Pond.

  • thomas matejka

    Good luck with all the red tape! And the doggies as well.

  • ImmodestyBlaise

    I’m curious what effect this business will have on traffic–most dog owners will probably opt to double-park when they drop their pooches off. The ritzy dog parlor on Centre in West Roxbury apparently has this problem, though I’m not aware of Tails causing a similar tie-up.

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