Plourde worked for years as a groomer in Millinocket. But when the mills shut down, she moved her family and her business to the Bangor area. Now she's taking her Holden shop literally to her client's doorstep.
"You drive up to a person's driveway and within an hour to an hour and a half, you're done and there are no other dogs barking and they go right back in their home," she said. "I do one dog at a time. The mess stays in the van."
Plourde purchased her grooming van last month and has been on the move ever since.
"The first day I took it to work with me, my cell phone rang at 9:30 a.m. and this woman said, 'I need to book my two Schnauzers with you; you are the answers to our prayers,'" she said. "The dryers, the other dogs barking can be stressful, especially for little dogs."
Plourde hopes that there are enough interested pet owners out there to keep her van on the road at least five days a week.
"It'll all depend on where we get calls from. We're going to be in the Bangor, Brewer and Old Town areas. I also book appointments still in Millinocket," Plourde said.
Services provided by the Northern Lights Grooming van is by appointment only and costs more than dropping off your dog with a groomer.
"It averages out to $20-$25 more than what the shop would be, and that's average with other places. It's the gas and convenience fee," Plourde said. "We have people who come to the shop from Ellsworth, Blue Hill and Machias. Travel time is a big thing. It's not convenient for them. I have a few clients who say if you're coming our way, we'll book with the mobile unit and we're trying to accommodate that."
For more information, log on to www.northernlightsgroomers.com or call 745-0123.