By Andrew Wroblewski
Holly Levis-Dolan knows radio and she loves her dogs.
The two don’t typically mix, the owner of three canine companions admitted, but as the former New York City radio personality of more than 25 years pondered the idea of opening up her own per supply and grooming shop, she found that the two businesses boiled down to the same thing: “hits.”
“I put this business together like I was programming a top-40 radio station,” said Levis-Dolan, owner and operator of Northport Village’s PetPort, which she’s maintained for nearly six years. “I started out and all the representatives were telling me, ‘Oh, you need to bring this [product] in.’ I would just say, ‘Guys, this is top-40 radio; give me your top hits.’”
Just as she once played the hits to listeners craving a good tune, Levis-Dolan continued to satisfy consumers’ appetites – but, with PetPort, she was working with appetites of primarily canine descent as she served up “the cream of the crop” in pet foods and supplies.
“Being able to put something together like a radio playlist is very similar to [putting together] products… Good business is good business,” Levis-Dolan, a native of Northport, said. “What [I] learned in radio about branding, marketing and competition applies to everything and a lot of people don’t realize that. But that’s really been key for me.”
Levis-Dolan continued to “play the hits” and PetPort – just like any quality radio station – took off. All natural pet food, supplies, toys and everything in-between, fill PetPort’s shelves and everything is guaranteed to satisfy – and they’re all priced just below, or in line, with that of the world’s biggest pet stores.
Today, PetPort “broadcasts” out of a new home at 40 Main St. in Northport Village – the “perfect” spot for the shop, she said. Levis-Dolan coveted the location for its beautiful interior, welcoming storefront and prime positioning, just steps away from Northport Village’s pet-friendly park.
“People come here from Melville, Port Washington, [etc.] – it’s a destination village to come to with your dog,” she said.
As with any radio station, though, playing the hits could only take PetPort so far. Behind the essential quality supplies and services, PetPort’s staff and groomers serve as the “radio personalities” that keep customers coming back thanks to their expertise and welcoming professionalism.
Master Groomer Bernadette Romeo – “the best groomer on Long Island,” as Levis-Dolan described her – and a talented young groomer, Melissa Fahey, make up PetPort’s grooming duo. The two not only deliver quality hair care and spa treatments, but they also ensure that every animal left in their care is treated attentively with tender love and care in absolutely every regard.
“As groomers, we are the first line of defense for veterinarians. It’s really important when you’re working on a dog… we might be the first person to feel a lump or a cyst or a tick embedded into the skin,” Levis-Dolan said. “We really try to be that step above [other grooming services].”
Appointments can be made for PetPort’s grooming spa by calling the shop at 631-261-7222.