Shop Local: How a Chadwell Heath grooming salon coped during Covid

Emma Moon, second left, and her staff at Scruffy's dog grooming salon. Picture: Nadja Noel

Emma Moon, second left, and her staff at Scruffy's dog grooming salon. Picture: Nadja Noel - Credit: Archant (taken by workie)

“We called them the Covid cuts. We saw one that was particularly horrendous. It gave us all a laugh.”

Shop Local

Shop Local - Credit: Archant

It wasn’t only humans who experienced home hair cut disasters this year, according to Emma Moon, owner of Scruffy’s dog grooming salon in Chadwell Heath.

Our four-legged friends experienced similar DIY lockdown cuts at the hands of their owners.

Emma said: “When we reopened after the lockdown we had a lot people call us and say ‘We gave it a try ourselves’ and we thought ‘Oh no!’”

She showed a picture of a downcast looking spaniel with a coat of stripes, swirls and odd long patches, adding: “I couldn’t recreate that if I tried.”

Emma and her team have been pampering pooches at Scruffy’s for the past five years after leaving a demanding career at Warner Bros to set up her passion project.

Business has slowly picked up since reopening in May but the frantic weeks following the first lockdown are still a clear memory.

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Emma and her team contacted hundreds of customers, many of whom had made bookings six weeks in advance.

Speaking ahead of the announcement of a second lockdown, she said: “We had to try and fit people back in as soon as we reopened but it’s taken weeks and it won’t help business if we have to shut down again.

“If that happens without any government grant we’ll struggle.”

What started as a mobile grooming service has grown into a large salon and includes Scruffy’s Angels, a dog and cat rescue service.

Emma has even found time to host trainee placements for budding groomers.

She said: “I just think if I can help someone who wants to get into the business then I will.”

Christmas is usually a busy time for the team, Emma said: “Everyone wants their dog to smell nice when they’ve got the family over but this year people are almost panic grooming.

“They’re worried about what’s going to happen with restrictions so they’re booking now instead of December just in case.”