Julie Vandak, 29

Co-Owner Groom Spot

When dogs saunter into Julie Vandak’s pet-grooming salon, they are greeted by soft lighting, the scent of lavender, and a warm welcome from Vandak and her husband, Larry. It’s all part of having a relaxing environment, so the dog-grooming experience is pleasurable for her canine clients.

After previously working as a bather and groomer at another pet-grooming salon, Vandak was encouraged by many of her clients to open her own business. That happened in 2013, when Groom Spot was launched just steps away from the Crestwood Metro-North station. But it didn’t happen overnight. Having studied finance at Manhattan College, Vandak wanted to be sure that Groom Spot would be financially viable. She researched the market and finally settled on a location in Tuckahoe.

Initially, as a female Millennial, she got what she calls the “run-around” from the town board. Undeterred, Vandak convinced the board that her salon would be a community asset. Previous clients signed a petition, and some advocated her cause at town board meetings.

Fast-forward five years, and the business is thriving. “All of our clients know us, and we personally get to know the dogs and their owners,” she says. “For an active customer, for example, I’ll recommend a shorter haircut for the dog, which is easier to maintain for running.” For clients who prefer to walk on the wild side, Groom Spot even offers puppy Mohawks or pet-safe hair color. 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Jaime Urteaga, 27

Founder/CEO Digital Chair

Jirandy Martinez, 29

Executive Director, Community Resource Center

Evan Popham, 24

Regional Demand Manager, Heineken USA

John Roland Sanchez, 29

Senior Account Manager, Zachys Wine & Liquor

John Vitale, 28

Vice President, Sterling National Bank

Ananth Sridhar, 29

Senior Manager, New Products Planning, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

Sahar Malek, 29

Director of Professional and Support Services, Westchester Medical Center

Stephen Ferri, 27

Associate Producer/Resident Music Director, White Plains Performing Arts Center

Paul-Anthony Présendieu-Cuesta, 27

Director of Community Gardening Habitat for Humanity of Westchester County

Frank D’Agostino, 26

Yonkers Firefighter, Co-Owner Transform Fitness and Training, Co-Founder The Style Society

Emilie Berner, 29

Chef & Coordinator, Chef Peter X. Kelly Teaching Kitchen NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital

Frank Valenti, 28

President Valcon Contracting Corp. and 808 Social

David Krinick, 29

Owner, Mesh Print Studio

Jay G. Wegimont, 26

Staff Assistant Congressman Eliot L. Engel

Christine Sanders, 29

Vice President, Administration, United Hebrew

Laura Madonna Giardullo, 28

Owner, Bare Skin and Laser

Rafael De La Rosa 28

Senior Product Manager Ask Applications

Adam Chau, 29

Program Manager Clay Arts Center

Julie Vandak, 29

Co-Owner Groom Spot

Shanae V. Williams, 28

Yonkers City Councilwoman

Kristen Sottile, 28

Senior Analyst Westmed Medical Group

Lisa Rosenberg, 29

Product Development Senior Scientist, PepsiCo
Edit Module