Pet boutique in Bar Harbor supplies unique, local products

Gale and Tom Abbott bought Bark Harbor in 2008 after having been customers there themselves.
Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 8:34 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - This week is National Small Business Week.

We continue to highlight unique local businesses.

Gale and Tom Abbott bought Bark Harbor in 2008 after having been customers there themselves.

“We’re unique,” said co-owner Tom Abbott. “Gail does a great job of ordering new and different stuff that you wouldn’t find in a pet store, and that’s what a lot of our customers say is that we have unique items.”

Many of those unique items are made locally. Bark Harbor has catnip that comes from Lamoine, pet bandanas made in Southwest Harbor, and chew toys made by two of MDI’s youngest entrepreneurs.

Bark Harbor is one of the town’s most popular shops during tourist season.

“We have a lot of repeat people year after year that come back and get a new collar from the year before, replace what they had gotten the year before, so we’ve made a lot of friends that come every year,” said co-owner Gail Abbott.

And also during the offseason, even if things are a bit quieter.

“A lot of people, this is their destination on the weekends in the winter, if they have pets,” said Gail Abbott. “So, it’s fun to see those people, year after year. Like my husband says, we don’t make any money in the winter, we just make friends, but it’s fun to have our local followers.”

With a few exceptions, Bar Harbor is mostly made up of small businesses.

Besides being unique, part of Bark Harbor’s success is in their love for what they do.

It makes for an easy answer when asked what for many small business owners is an often difficult question.

“How much longer are you gonna do this?”

“...’Till I die. He might say something different,” said Gail Abbott.

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