The Groom Inn, 12 Church Street
Despite Ruddington still holding on to its village status, it certainly has more than its fair share of entertainment and characterful daily goings-on, as any local will verify.
Philo’s has one of the best central spots for people-watching, best achieved within the “Cosmopolitan” window, as I call it. One sunny afternoon, perched on my Cosmo-chair and all ready for some classic people-watching, my gaze turned to the sunlit window opposite.
There before me was the happiest dog face I have ever seen. A beautiful white pooch stood under a glamourous chandelier, soaking up the spring sun, living the best life…and having a pedicure.
I was dog-watching. Well technically, I was people watching too as the dog groomer – a person – was giving this dog absolute love and care throughout the process.
Once again, Ruddington hadn’t failed me. It was so cosmopolitan, I could have been in chic Greenwich Village, NYC!
I was curious, so I popped into The Groom Inn to ask some questions and to find out more.
Angela Millet and Heidi Swaithe co-run the new professional dog grooming business in Ruddington. Angela tells me the white dog is a rescue called Donald. He arrived shaking, but it wasn’t long before the team had Donald in the happy place that I saw him in.
I wasn’t surprised as the Groom Inn had everything a person could wish for, never mind a dog. Jacuzzis, Himalayan bath salts, even a well-upholstered cuddle chair! Best of all, the Groom Inn has a team who clearly love working there.
Q: How did you get into this line of business?
H: I worked in the cosmetic surgery industry and lived abroad. After a family illness, I re-evaluated my life and returned home. I realised my passion and set up shop in my back garden and it took off from there. My business grew and grew, which is why we’re here today. If you’d told me seven years ago I would have one dog, never mind seven and I was doing this, I’d have never believed you! I absolutely love it. Angela worked in the pharmaceutical business and wanted a change of direction, too.
Q: Why did you set up shop in Ruddington?
A: Ruddington is a very dog-friendly village; people love their animals here. We have the Country Park for walking and the village is a great place to work. I’ve known it now for over 28 years.
Q: Do you have a speciality treatment? What are you best known for?
H: Our Jacuzzi is a real treat for our visitors. It provides a deep clean and is great for our elderly clients. We’re known for being able to calm even the most nervous dog (we have a lot of rescue dogs). We offer one-to-one sessions for those who want absolute quiet time. We have some super characters that come through and we become great friends. We love seeing our local legend, Bobby, who gets around on three legs. We also groom German Shepherds, which is great fun, but messy!
Q: You have a great Facebook following, why do you think that is?
H: We really love our visitors and you can see how happy they are to be here. Our “before and after” pics show their transformation. Some of our customers travel quite some way to come here because they like it. We celebrate their characters and dedicate our posts to them.
Q: What do you like to do whist you’re here in the village?
A: I love Jaspers Café and The Grange, and Julia’s Kitchen is great. Thomas James sold my house very quickly!
H: And the charity shops are brilliant.
Thank you Groom Inn, what a joy it was to speak to you!
The Groom provides work placements to college students who wish to work with animals. If this of interest, please contact Heidi or Angela – you can call into the shop or ring 07735 537 232.