Franchising Magazine USA profiles a few dog-loving franchisees from Zoom Room Dog Training
During the pandemic, pet adoption rates have increased by more than 700% according to PetPoint, a software program utilized by some 1,200 shelters nationwide.
This wave of adoptions resulted in double-digit year-over-year growth in the pet service industry which continues to thrive. With a passion for the dog community and a keen eye for opportunity, many business-minded dog-lovers have made the move to pursue a new endeavor with the Zoom Room dog training franchise.
Mark Van Wye, CEO of Zoom Room, explains that the pandemic has contributed to the stimulation of growth for the proven concept. According to Van Wye, “The pandemic has accelerated the trend of retail flight while increasing the number of entrepreneurs looking to start a new venture. The pet sector has always fared well even during the most economically-challenged times; the recent boom in dog ownership is no exception. We credit our extreme growth curve to astute investors responding well to Zoom Room’s ability to serve the needs of dog owners with a demonstrably profitable business model, thus meriting our brick-and-mortar place in communities across the country.”
Jonathan and Sally Scroggs, Ankeny (Des Moines, Iowa)
Jonathan and Sally Scroggs’ love for sports and raising their labradoodle Murphy played a major role in their journey to bringing Zoom Room to Ankeny, Iowa. Prior to opening, Scroggs conducted months of research on various franchise concepts and Zoom Room stood out. Determined to leave their full-time jobs, the couple wanted to provide an outlet for the dog lovers in the area to help strengthen the bond between dog owners and their dogs. Opening a Zoom Room in a dog-centered community, allowed the Scroggs to build connections and have a strong social network of dog owners.
The Scroggs have always envisioned owning and operating a family-run business. The couple’s children will be a huge asset to the business by helping with store management and social media for Zoom Room. Their goals for Zoom Room this year are for the franchise to become a huge part of the dog community and a place where the local community can enjoy hanging out with their dogs.
Outside of Zoom Room, both are active in their community. Sally Scroggs is a long-time, dedicated soccer coach, and both have actively served as volunteers in their church for more than 20 years. Jonathan Scroggs also volunteers at their local animal shelter, AHeinz57 Pet Rescue & Transport, a non-profit animal rescue organization that is committed to saving homeless companion animals, assisting other shelters/rescues through rescue transports, and educating the public on the issues of responsible pet ownership and puppy mills. To further promote the cause, they raised funds for AHeinz57 Pet Rescue & Transport during their grand opening.
“The city of Ankeny loves kid sports and many pet owners here consider their dogs as part of the family,” said Jonathan Scroggs. “Sally and I are excited to provide an opportunity for people to participate in sporty activities with their dogs at Zoom Room, especially with our popular agility classes. Every dog, no matter the age, breed, or size can enjoy dog agility training and you’ll be amazed at how these courses will deepen the bonds of communication between you and your dog.”
Sarah Sung, Torrance (Los Angeles, California)
Sarah Sung was one of many pet owners who adopted a pandemic pup that needed training during COVID which played a role in helping her look into owning a Zoom Room franchise. Coming from a world of fitness, Sung was actively working in a boutique fitness studio before she pivoted to Zoom Room. Sung wanted to open a business that was active and surrounded by people and their pets as opposed to sitting behind a desk. Sung’s friend introduced her to Zoom Room, an engaging and profitable concept, and eventually, Sung’s intrigue for the business model grew. As a first-time business owner, Sung was attracted to Zoom Room’s simple franchise structure and program. Sung became interested in Zoom Room as a local franchise option and Mark Van Wye offered to sell Sung the then corporate-owned Redondo Beach store; it was a perfect match. Sung is an active mother of one and owner of a Corgi named Riley, along with two cats and two chickens.
Heavily involved in the Venice community, Sung ran the local elementary school Booster Club/PTA for two years, and currently serves on the board of a local arts non-profit, Venice Arts, which provides a media arts education to low-income students throughout Los Angeles. Sung also runs a volunteer bi-monthly food program for LA Works and Hollywood Food Coalition where she helps to provide lunches to aid organizations that operate throughout Los Angeles.
“I’ve always been passionate about being involved with the community and Zoom Room is the hub of the dog community,” said Sung. “Working in a different field, I wanted a change in my lifestyle and to get involved in more opportunities. Zoom Room has a great story behind it, and I was attracted to the structure and concept. The South Bay area fits the Zoom Room demographic very well with a population of young professional and active retirees who want to spend more time on training and building a deep relationship with their pets.”
Jon and Shannon Van Dyke, Trophy Club (Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas)
Prior to opening a Zoom Room in Trophy Club, Texas, Jon Van Dyke spent 35 years as an exotic (tigers, cougars, leopards) and domestic animal trainer for the film and television industry, where he deftly achieved key performances while maintaining the absolute well-being of all animals involved in the production. Van Dyke’s animal-first advocacy work in Hollywood lent itself to many memorable moments in iconic films and shows. He enjoyed being with animals and being an owner of Zoom Room was something he envisioned long-term. As animal lovers, Jon and Shannon Van Dyke currently have five dogs: four Chinese Crested dogs, and a Shih tzu.
After making the move to Texas from California, the Van Dykes began looking for opportunities outside of the film industry but still within Jon Van Dyke’s area of expertise after his more than three decades of dog training experience. After looking into dog-based franchise opportunities, Van Dyke determined that Zoom Room would allow him to continue doing what he loved – helping people get the most out of the relationship with their pets. The Van Dykes were intrigued by Zoom Room’s unique concept of helping dog owners in the community build deeper connections with their pets. Zoom Room was the only franchise the Van Dykes could find that had an interesting model and that was based around helping people understand and develop better relationships with their dogs. Still new to the area, the Van Dykes are passionate about connecting with rescue organizations and local shelters.
“Owning a franchise is hard work, but this hard work comes with a tremendous upside,” said Jon Van Dyke. “There is nothing better than working for yourself. Manage your staff well, respect and appreciate them and they will work hard for you. I hope to have a successful year running this Zoom Room location and to expand and purchase one or two more units in the future.”