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Fur Baby Boutique tapped for Dover pop-up

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DOVER – The Downtown Dover Partnership (DDP) announced Tuesday that Sherry Shupe, owner of Fur Baby Boutique, has been selected to occupy the retail space at 136 W. Loockerman St. for the “Last Minute Shoppers” Pop-Up Shop through the 2021 holiday season.

Sherry Shupe, Fur Baby Boutique owner, and facility manager Katlyn Riggs, pose outside 136 W. Loockerman St. in Dover after being chosen for the Dover Downtown Partnership’s Last-Minute Shoppers initiative. | PHOTO COURTESY OF DDP

Fur Baby has been operating in Milford for 10 years, and more recently opened Fur Baby Pet Resort that provides full-service pet services such as daycare, boarding and spa grooming as well as a retail component with natural pet grocery and human gifts. Shupe will bring the retail component to the pop-up shop in Dover, including natural handmade treats, natural American-made toys, chews and fun, unique human gifts, and apparel for pets and pet lovers, too.       

“I am so excited to partner with the DDP and to be able to occupy this beautiful, historic building in downtown Dover. And we want to hear what kinds of pet products the local audience would like to see,” Shupe said in a statement.

Many Dover customers that frequent the Milford location have asked her to consider opening in the Dover area, so Shupe believes she’ll be seeing some familiar faces as soon they open up later this week.    

On Monday, she signed a lease through Dec. 31, and was also required to submit a fee of $200, a refundable security deposit and liability insurance, and has committed to being open at least three days a week for the short-term retail opportunity on Loockerman Street. While a successful pop-up experience will allow her to take advantage of shoppers buying in the brick-and-mortar shop, Shupe’s active, online social media interaction will bolster a potential long-term business in Dover. This holiday opportunity will allow her to test the market and the Dover location. 

Shupe was selected from 15 applicants that requested consideration for the Last-Minute Shoppers Pop Up program, where one qualified retailer would be chosen to quickly occupy a 400-square-foot space through the end of 2021.

“We chose Sherry for several reasons; she has been very successfully operating and even expanding her current business for 10 years, she has products, fixtures and staffing available to move quickly on this opportunity, and she offers a unique product line,” said Diane Laird, DDP executive director in a statement. “We also believe her niche products will complement the products available in neighboring shops and bring people into downtown from the Dover community as well as from the larger Maryland-Delaware region.”

Officials believe her pop-up shop will be destination retail for visitors.

“Her business is unique in that is it both gift and grocery, suggesting that shoppers will return often. This is similar to the new artisan market just a half a block away,” Laird added.

Not wanting to lose the opportunity afforded by the additional applications received, Tina Bradbury, DDP operations manager and overseer of the Capital City Farmers Market is quickly exploring offering an outdoor Last Minute Shoppers Pop Up Marketplace for those looking to purchase gifts in the week leading up to Christmas.

“The weather is forecasted to be unseasonably warm, and this would be a terrific way to provide an opportunity to the many applicants who have fine products,” she said. “We encourage the community to be sure to support all of our local merchants, including the new pop-up Fur Baby Boutique at 136 Loockerman, just down the street from Loockerman Way Plaza.”  

The DDP welcomes vendors, including food trucks who would be interested in participating in the pop-up marketplace to be in touch with Tina immediately at: Tina@DowntownDoverPartnership.com For details about the Last-Minute Shoppers initiative, including dates of opening, times, and hours, visit: tinyurl.com/DoverLastMinuteShoppers and on Downtown Dover on Facebook for lives, pictures, and updates.

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