"Knowing that someone has your back as you are building your business motivates you to press on and succeed. PNC's unwavering support has helped us thrive."
Dogged Determination Leads to Business Success
For 15 years, Cassie Kreider and her husband, Kirby Kreider, brainstormed ideas for turning his family's eighth-generation farm in Lancaster County, Pa., into a thriving business. Both had successful careers, so they were in no hurry, but they knew that the property, with its unique location and ample acreage, held great business potential.
"We considered a variety of ideas. When we came across the pet resort concept, it stuck," says Cassie, who was for 10 years an occupational therapist. "It seemed fitting to bring animals to the farm, and no business in the area was providing high-end boarding services."
The transformation of the Kreider farm into Oscar's Pet Resort of Greenfield began. The effort required extensive renovation efforts, including gutting and rebuilding a 1902 barn that now houses doggie daycare programs, state-of-the-art grooming and a variety of training programs and workshops.
"A year before we opened, we started marketing to the community, setting up a tent in the local dog parks and at dog-related events," shares Cassie. "We surveyed pet owners, asking them about services that might be helpful to them. We even invited people to come out to the farm during the construction phase. So by the time Oscar's opened for business in 2006, we welcomed two dogs our first night and accommodated a half-dozen more in daycare."
Today, Oscar's 25 dog suites and six cat condos remain solidly booked during the busy vacation season, and its "Doggie Dome," where dogs participate in obedience, agility, carting and flyball training programs, is wildly popular.
Strategic Relationships Strengthen the Business
The relationships Cassie has built with area veterinarians have proven invaluable. "When a pet is ill, we refer its owner to one of the local vets who we've come to rely on for expert counsel," she explains. "In turn, these docs, who are familiar with our capabilities, often refer their clients to us. They are pivotal to our success."
Another pivotal partner? PNC. "PNC and its predecessor Bank of Lancaster have been with us from the start," Cassie says. "I had been a personal customer for many years, so I felt comfortable approaching a bank representative about starting the business. He offered information, encouragement and guidance that helped me build a solid business plan. That plan earned us the PNC loan that got Oscar's off the ground."
PNC came back with additional financing when unexpected costs emerged during the construction phase, and provided a business loan for the creation of the Doggie Dome in 2011.
"Knowing that someone has your back as you are building your business motivates you to press on and succeed," concludes Cassie. "PNC's unwavering support has helped us thrive."