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New Broadway Plaza shop helps dogs celebrate

Alexandra (“Alex”) Francis, owner of Charlie's Barkery.“Alex” Francis with Charlie.

The owner of a new shop in Broadway Plaza hopes hungry mutts will find satisfaction by barking up the right “tree” --  hers.

Alexandra (“Alex”) Francis is the force behind Charlie's Barkery, a dog bakery and pet boutique at 307 Broadway.

The grand opening was Thursday, May 19, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., in Broadway Plaza, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony plus door prizes and refreshments.

Among those attending were expected to be Beth Locke, executive director of Arlington Chamber of Commerce; Jenny Raitt, director of planning and community development; and Select Board members.

Francis was born and raised in Burlington and now lives in Melrose.

With a bachelor's in business administration from Framingham State University, she said, “It was always a dream of mine to own my very own business.

“When the pandemic hit, I began baking my own all-natural, homemade treats for my rescue dog, Charlie. One day, I posted a picture of my treats on social media and had friends asking me if I was selling them, and that got the wheels turning.

“I began selling my treats at the 2021 Melrose farmers' market and a handful of craft fairs -- all very successful -- which got me thinking I want to take this to the next level and finally open that small business I had always dreamed of.”

Coached Pop Warner

She coached Arlington Pop Warner for two years after college, “so I already knew what a supportive community the town of Arlington has.”

Is there a need for such a shop? Francis thinks so.

“There aren't enough places where you can go shopping with your furry loved ones. so I wanted to bring that to the town of Arlington and surrounding towns.”

At the shop, dog owners can buy its all-natural Charlie's Famous biscuits and custom “barkday cakes” to help celebrate a pup's birthday or “gotcha day,” a term for the anniversary of the day on which a person or a pet joins a family by adoption.

As owner of a small business, she said, “We heavily believe in supporting other small local businesses.” To help, she has offered space in the shop for local vendors to sell their own pet-related products.

Handmade items

Handmade items for dogs include leashes, collars, bandannas, bow ties, raincoats and tug toys.

Among items for pet lovers are wall signs, candles, jewelry, stickers, magnets and key chains, many of which can be customized.

“The items you find in Charlie's Barkery can't be found at your typical pet store,” she said. “Come on down with your furry friend to check us out." Dogs are welcome. 

Sept. 14, 2021: Rescue framework updated; extended comment period ends

This news announcement was published Monday, May 16, 2022.

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