Dee-O-Gee Opens New Location in Billings
When you choose to shop at a locally owned business, there is a uniqueness in the relationships that are built. At least that’s what Dee-O-Gee founders, Josh and Holly Allen, have seen unfold in the 11 years since they opened Dee-O-Gee’s first location in Bozeman. It’s those relationships – from staff members who tend to stick around for the long haul, to the customers who are popping in on a weekly/monthly basis - that have been the most surprising aspect of building their business, explains Josh, which has evolved into a franchise model with independent owners in Bozeman and Billings.
From Bozeman to Billings
Montana natives (Holly from Billings, Josh from Dillon), the Allens made the move into small business ownership when they noticed a gap in high-quality pet products and services in Bozeman. Holly, a veterinary technician in Bozeman at the time, noticed a lot of requests from clients for products that weren’t available back then. Their fur-family member, Jericho, who is a 12-year-old rescue dog is also part of the reason that they started Dee-O-Gee. Josh shares that Jericho has a number of different health problems that they have been able to mostly remedy with natural nutrition and supplements. And so, between their own vested interests and seeing a need to fill (plus, “the industry – working with dogs – is super fun, [it’s] growing, and historically has performed well, even in times of economic slowdowns.”), a local business that would grow beyond its own original, singular entity was born.
On February 22, Dee-O-Gee Billings held its ribbon cutting ceremony that launched the store into its grand opening weekend. The process of bringing the business to our community began when the Allens were approached by a local group of pet lovers who wanted to bring the Dee-O-Gee brand to Billings; they own and operate the business with Josh and Holly assisting them as needed. Having already had the Billings market in mind for some time – with many Billings customers frequenting the Bozeman locations - it was a natural next step.
When you make your way into the Billings location of Dee-O-Gee, settled in at the corner of Shiloh and Central Avenue in the new Shiloh Commons development, you’ll find a beautiful space welcoming to two-legged and four-legged shoppers alike. It includes a Cat Corner, a wide variety of food and treat options – uniquely displayed, almost like a candy store for your pup. You’ll find an enclosed space for the high-sided, user-friendly DIY Dog Wash, next door to the Professional Dog Grooming area, with the check-in for the Dog Daycare at the back. The daycare area is spacious, bright, and fun with colorful ramps. And in between it all, you’ll find a variety of durable toys. We’re talking seriously sturdy. Among those dog toys is the Allens’ own brand, WO (supportwo.com). Toys that they created and are sold across the country, as well as at all Dee-O-Gee locations. These super cute toys are part of the Allens’ #buyonegivetwo mission, which Josh explains, “for each toy sold, we donate funds to provide two meals for orphaned kids and widows. Customers can buy a quality, made in the USA dog toy, and make a global difference at the same time.”
What is it that has made Dee-O-Gee a fan favorite amongst its loyal customers? Josh says, “The fact that customers can get their dogs cared for (grooming, daycare, or DIY dog wash) AND find high-quality products, all in a friendly, top-notch, locally owned facility is a win-win for everyone…the pet, the customer, and the local economy.”
photos by Savannah Traywick