Raul's Grooming Center was featured in Califormia's own Gentry Magazine. Check out the article written by Robin Hindery in the December 2013 issue.
The walls of Raul’s Grooming Center in Redwood City are lined with signed photos of its celebrity clientele, from Jerry Rice and other sports legends to music greats like Neil Young. But to owner Jimmy Perez, the famous faces staring down at him as he works are simply members of an extended family that has formed over four decades in the grooming trade.
“I’m on a first-name basis with almost all of my clients, and 99% of the dogs I groom are regulars,” says Perez, who took over the business from his father, the “Raul” in Raul’s, 10 years ago and moved it from its longtime Atherton location (where it was Raul’s Pet Center) to Main Street in Redwood City.
Perez officially started working with his dad when he was 15, but he helped out behind the scenes for several years before that. “My dad used to hide me in the back because I looked too young to be working on people’s dogs,” he recalls. Now, he’s front and center, and he clearly takes pride in his work. “The thing I like best about this job,” he says, “is when people pick up their dog and you see that joy, that reunion. I’m creating a little slice of happiness, and when you get to do that, that’s a good day.”
Though he has owned a string of dogs over the years (mainly Schnauzers), Perez is currently off-duty when he closes up the shop at the end of the day. “I’m like a grandpa,” he says. “The dogs come and visit and then they go home.” But while they’re with him, he develops a bond with each one, he says. “You have to break them in, and it comes down to the temperament of each dog,” he says of the calming effect he seems to have on even the most skittish pup.
Asked whether he ever considered any other career path, Perez notes that his father encouraged him to pursue a veterinary degree, but he says he has no regrets about carrying on the family business— and maintaining its sterling reputation—over the past decade. Much of that has to do with the clientele, both canine and human, and the cozy, convivial atmosphere of Raul’s. “Traditionally, the local barbershop was the place where people would come and trade stories, have friendly debates, and share news about their lives,” he says. “It’s like that here. I have clients who come in just to talk, and I think that says something.”
Raul’s Grooming Center
1530 Main Street
Redwood City, CA 94063
8:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
8:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.