I hope this e-mail finds you well and you are having a wonderful start to the New Year!
I thank you in advance for taking the time to read this e-mail as this is perhaps one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I am writing today to let you know that we are being forced to close Audrey’s due an extreme rent increase. Brad and I have done everything we could to keep Audrey’s doors open but in the end we were outbid by a frozen yogurt chain (exactly what Newbury Street needs)! We offered our landlord a 38% rent increase but lost out to an offer of 133% increase more than doubling what we currently pay. This increase would be too much for us to possibly handle.
As I sit here any type this I want you that your support has meant more to Brad and me than you will ever know. This store was not just something that I wanted to open for fun. This store has been a dream of mine to open since 2001 when I got my beautiful bulldog, Audrey. She was my inspiration for wanting to join the Boston pet community as a profession and carry out her legacy after she passed on. I am heartbroken at the thought of closing our doors and still in a bit of a state of shock. We worked so hard to be great neighbors, community leaders, and inspire others to be entrepreneurs.
Opening up your own business (especially in the midst of a recession) is the scariest but most rewarding thing I think anyone could ever do. Very few people will understand the blood, sweat, and tears (and there are a lot of them) that goes into a brick and mortar business but I would not change a single thing that has happened over the last three years. I learned so much, built many dear friendships, and have memories to cherish that will last a lifetime.
I want everyone to know that Audrey’s is a successful business and we had no intention of closing our doors… ever. We have just started to scratch the surface of what we wanted to accomplish in Boston. We opened up Audrey’s not just to sell pet supplies but to make an impact on the pet community. We have always strived to be a resource center for all things pet related. We wanted to help support you and your pet and give you the best possible information that was out there. We actually turned a small profit in our second year and our delivery business has flourished. We were most proud to recently be recognized as one of Boston’s TOP TEN businesses by Boston Magazine.
A big component of being part of the “pet community” was to help local shelters and other pet related charities. I have said it once and I will say it again; I believe that if I expect the local community to support my business, I expect my business to give back and support the local community. A small business can make such a big impact on the local market and that is what we have always tried to do. Whether we were hosting a fundraiser, collect supplies for a rescue organization, or simply educating customers on a non-profit that was just our way of giving back.
While I am sad for us I am sadder for the local community because I truly think that the small, special stores are disappearing and the charm of the Back Bay and Newbury Street is being pushed aside for pure economic gain and not what the store can add to the uniqueness of the street and the city as a whole.
We are trying to pin point down a closing date it will most likely be in late March. I will do my best to keep you all informed and once again thank you from the bottom of my heart for your commitment to supporting Audrey’s. The past three years have been the most amazing and special time for us and it has all been because of YOU.
With our deepest regards and appreciation,
Brittany, Brad, and the Audrey’s Family