Business Bites: Get Clean And Caffeinated At Mutt And Joe

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By Rochelle Karina

Walk in and on the left side of the fun and funky Mutt and Joe shop on Benfield Road you can select from a delightful range of familiar coffee-shop favorites, plus bagels, sandwiches and other munchies. Come in on the right side, however, and you can take your dog in for everything from a self-serve bath to full-service grooming. Canines and coffee, it’s just another day at Mutt and Joe!

Owner Andy Smull opened the business in September of last year after she retired, gone back to school to pursue another graduate degree, and then realized she needed to pursue her dreams instead. She turned to her two favorite things in the world – coffee and dogs.

“I like the area,” explains Smull. “It’s a great community; it’s family-oriented, school and church oriented and very dog oriented. There are tons of dogs!”

At Mutt and Joe, Smull likes to say they spoil people and dogs. “We make a dirty job clean,” she says. “When you wash your dog at home, it’s a pain. You get all wet, and you have to clean up afterward, and if the dog is a shedder…”

At the shop, you can wash your dog yourself, or you can have someone wash Fido for you. They now offer full-service grooming as well.

Over on the coffee side, a great place to hang out while Fido gets his Fluff and Buff, patrons will find a selection of Vincent Iatesta’s Caffe Pronto products.

“He has a reputation for being the best roaster,” explains Smull. “I fell in love with his coffee. He has two stores in Annapolis and I had to bring the products to Severna Park.”

Smull likes to connect with the local community, donating to K-9 Companions, offering bath certificates to the local schools for use in fund raisers and raffles. “I really believe in the local schools,” she says. “I’m living for today, I’m doing what I want,” she explains. “I’m addicted to this business, the dogs, the coffee, my staff.”

Smull describes her staff as a family. “I think this is business that serves the community on lots of levels. This is a third place, it’s not home, it’s not work. This is a place where the community meets, where neighbors see neighbors and people come in, have coffee and a snack while they wait for their dog to be washed. It’s more than a dog wash and coffee bar, it’s a place to hang.”

Services on the dog wash side include whimsically named offerings like the Fluff and Buff, which is a basic wash, condition and blow dry with a brushing and ear and eye cleaning. The Ruff and Ready is a quicky version, replacing the blow dry and brush out with a towel drying. You can even get your poof a Pet-a-Cure and a spa treatment. Dogs are categorized by size, Mini Might, Middle Child, Beefed Up and Big Kahuna.

The company doesn’t have a website yet, but they are on Facebook, just look for Mutt and Joe, and can be reached at 410-793-5340. They’re open seven days a week, from 9:00am to 5:30pm.

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