For Jennifer and Jason Bulat, there were plenty of good reasons to open a Bone & Biscuit location in the vibrant Crestwood neighbourhood of Edmonton, Alberta.
There’s a dog park nearby, but no pet supply stores. The Bulats are animal lovers; they have a beagle puppy named Molly and are considering bringing another puppy into the mix after the store opens. Jennifer also owns a hair studio, so embarking on new entrepreneurial adventures was nothing new.
But most of all, the Bulats were motivated by family. Along with their fur baby Molly, Jennifer and Jason have two adult children, Alyssa and Tyler.
It’s about family
“What inspired us initially is our daughter,” says Jennifer. “She is an adult but has some challenges and has had challenges throughout her life in finding a job and finding a path.”
For now, Alyssa and Tyler are doing their own thing. Alyssa starts college in Red Deer in the fall, and Tyler is working as a mechanic apprentice. Jason and Jennifer envision the store as something for their future; “to start something together and to work together,” as Jason says.
They’re a close-knit crew with lots of enthusiasm for the new venture.
“We’re all planning on working together at the store which is really cool,” says Jennifer. “It will bring us even closer together.”
That sense of familial closeness is something Jason intends to share with customers at their store.
“You’re coming to a family store and you’re going to be treated like family,” he says. “That kind of customer service is important to us. Our customer service, I expect to be better than anything – than anyone in the history of service!”
The Bulats & beagles
Genuine customer service, as Jason says, “isn’t something you can fake or come up with in a board meeting. It’s just something that happens naturally.”
Ditto for compassion for animals.
Jennifer and Jason have lots of love for all animals, but they are especially connected to dogs. It has been a tender year for the Bulats, grieving the loss of their 16-year-old beagle, Jessie.
“We were so devastated when we lost her, oh my gosh, I never knew that’s how it felt,” says Jennifer.
There were no immediate plans to welcome another dog into the family, but when the opportunity to meet Molly came up, the timing seemed right.
“We’re so happy we have her,” Jennifer says.
Life with a puppy was a new challenge after so long, and the Bulats are looking forward to sharing the lessons they’ve learned raising Molly with their customers.
“We’re big fans of positive reinforcement,” says Jason. ”It really works; beagles are notorious for being pretty stubborn when it comes to training and it’s worked wonders with both of our dogs.”
Visit the Bulats’ Bone & Biscuit Edmonton location in charming Crestwood
As the weeks inch closer to opening day, the Bulats can’t help but look forward to getting to know the Crestwood neighbours and their furry friends.
“We love Crestwood – it’s beautiful,” says Jennifer. “We are familiar with the neighbourhood because we’re from Edmonton’s West End ourselves and we always thought we would end up back there somehow so it appealed to us.”
Visitors to Crestwood enjoy ample green space, pedestrian-friendly walkways, and unique, independent shops and boutiques. With a ravine just to the east and another to the north, it’s one of the greener parts of the city.
“It’s close to downtown, it’s close to everything,” Jennifer says.
“We’re super, super excited and looking forward to having it open and meeting people and pets in the neighbourhood!”