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Going boldly


In 2016, Mud Bay's strategic planning team (The Twenty) read, studied, and worked hard to imagine what the landscape of American pet retail would look like by 2020. After imagining the future, The Twenty invented a business model that would enable Mud Bay to thrive in the future we think we'll be encountering. This website is where we share some information and try out ideas.

From brick & mortar to brick & mortar plus

Mud Bay's new business model will encompass a wide range of services for pets and their owners. Our New Business Entrepreneurs have envisioned beginning with three: 

  1. Happy, Clean Pets

  2. Food & Supplies Without Entering a Store

  3. The Digital Mud Bay Experience

Opportunities - Updated!


Mud Bay's expanding business model is opening opportunities for Muddies! Our first New Business Entrepreneurs were hired about nine months ago and are leading the development, testing and launch of Happy, Clean Pets (aka Mudroom aka Mud Bay’s first approach to offering specific grooming services), Food and Supplies Without Entering a Store (aka Mud Bus) still in the research phase and Mud Bay Digital Experience (aka ecommerce) in collaboration with IT.

Our next hires were two New Business Operators/Groomers-in-Training (NBO/GiT); one Muddy and one former Muddy. The two NBO/GiTs along with one NBE headed to sunny Los Angeles, CA this past fall for 5 months of intensive hands-on training on dog handling and grooming at Healthy Spot Grooming Academy. As they’ve been learning and sharing with home office NBEs and as home office NBEs have continued their research and conversations with customers and non-customers, ideas for how Mud Bay can find its Blue Ocean in the grooming marketplace have been evolving.


We have moved away from calling what we will be offering grooming in favor of providing services for people who may not be typical grooming clients. We will call our service facilities (integrated into stores) Mudrooms. The focus will be skin and coat health and will include bathing, brushouts, sanitary trims and general bodily heath checks (lumps, bumps, irregularities that may be in areas that pet owners don’t typically inspect). This doesn’t mean we won’t continue to evolve our offerings, but it gives us a start in an area that is not currently well-served.

Our next recruits will be Mudroom trainees (Bathers-in-Training or BiTs) whom we expect will also head to Healthy Spot for a shorter training and certification in dog handling, bathing, brushing, sanitary trimming and general health checking.

Visit our Mudroom Trainee page for details about the position requirements and information about how to apply or get more information if this sounds like something you’d like to do!

New businesses will be Mud Bay Startups!
Invention is in Mud Bay's DNA

Mud Bay was one of the first retailers in the world to focus on natural foods for cats and dogs. We were also one of the first to provide detailed information and complete solutions to dog and cat owners.  Now, we're going to invent an approach to pet services that furthers Mud Bay's Mission and expands the Mud Bay Experience. Even though services will be part of Mud Bay, we are going to approach developing our service businesses as if they were startups.  We'll use an approach called Lean Startup to help us develop the best possible approach to services in a cost-and time-efficient manner.  Want to learn more about Lean Startup?  Watch this short video.

Since the days of one tiny store and four staff back in 1988, Mud Bay has grown a lot.  We have increased the number of our locations and the number of cats, dogs and owners each location serves.  But for all this growth, we haven't really changed how we connect with and help our customers.  We still do it by giving advice and selling products, face-to-face, inside our physical stores.  In launching our first three new businesses, we'll be inventing something entirely new, and we'll approach these new businesses as startups.  Our goal will be to create the best businesses we can imagine. 

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