An animal-loving couple with 25 years’ pet industry experience gained in both the UK and USA have bought a northern Lincolnshire business.
Axholme Cattery at Crowle has been acquired by Jeremy and Diane Mitchell from retiring couple Jeanette and Gary Abraham, who spent seven years at the helm.
The 1.1 acre site, which includes living accommodation, is licensed for 40 cats and had an annual turnover of £52,000. The new owners are to add further services, while looking to raise the standards.
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Originally from Cumbria and the North East respectively, the couple have been living in West Sussex for the last 10 years, running a small kennel and cattery and a pet travel business, after a decade in Florida running pet shops and dog grooming salons.
“Axholme Cattery has a great reputation and we’re thrilled to have found the perfect home and business which will allow us to move back up north and continue our passion for pets,” Mr Mitchell said. “Our new business is called Walkers and Sitters and the cattery is very much at the heart of this. As well as looking after cats, we will be adding dog walking and dog behaviour consultations to the services on offer.
“Our aim is to take the cattery from a three-star licence to five-stars within our first year, making it even more of a ‘des-res’ for felines. We’re delighted that our dream of moving our pet business back to the north has become a reality.”
Commercial property estate agent Ernest Wilson handled the deal.
Axholme Cattery. (Image: Appeal PR) Paul Williamson, managing director, said: “Catteries and kennels are a sector where we’ve completed a number of successful sales in recent months and we’re really pleased to have now sold Axholme Cattery, securing new owners with vast experience who have found their perfect lifestyle business some 230 miles from where they live now. It just shows, if you know where you want to be and what you want to do, then buying a business is a great option and, with national reach, we can facilitate that.”
Although the sale was straightforward, with the offer accepted a month on from Ernest Wilson’s instruction, there was a challenge to overcome before the cattery went on the market.
Kate Wood, planning director at Eddisons, which is part of the same group as Ernest Wilson, said: “In the early stages of discussions with the cattery owners, Ernest Wilson discovered that a planning condition meant that only the existing owner was lawfully able to live in the property and run the cattery rather than any new owner. This represented a huge barrier to the sale, but thankfully, given the relationship between the two companies, the Eddisons planning team became involved and successfully applied for this condition to be lifted thus enabling occupation of the accommodation by anyone employed in the cattery business, thereby clearing the way for a successful sale.”
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