Craig Smith's Downtown Talk: New pet boutique finds home in downtown Napa
Downtown Talk

Craig Smith's Downtown Talk: New pet boutique finds home in downtown Napa

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Milo & Friends Pet Boutique opens in downtown Napa today, across from Charlie Palmer and Compline in the First Street Napa complex.

With an emphasis on local products made by other small companies, the boutique carries a wide selection of premium toys, harnesses, collars, and leashes for dogs and cats, along with some fun merchandise for humans, too.

Owner Chandler Manasse, a fifth generation Napan, focuses on holistic pet health, carrying limited-ingredient and single-ingredient pet treats such as Pure Vita.

Manasse named the store for Milo, her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She’s been a pet lover her whole life.

“I originally wanted to be a veterinarian, but decided to become a surgical nurse instead.”

Manasse travels a lot and visits pet boutiques whenever she can. Through her travels, she realized that opening a boutique would enable her to fulfill her passion for animals while allowing her to continue as a nurse.

“I’ve been thinking about doing this for a long time.”

You are likely to find her mom and sister in the shop, helping support the effort. Milo and Friends is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays until 7 p.m., and Sundays till 5 p.m.

Info: miloandfriendspetboutique.com.

Daily Method finds success onlineClients of Kelli Stuart’s The Daily Method on Coombs Street, between First and Second streets, will be happy when the barre and cycle fitness studio is able to re-open.

Stuart voluntarily closed the studio early in the scheme of things when COVID 19 was just starting to change our world.

“I couldn’t risk our staff or clients getting infected.”

However, the day after closing, she offered her first online class. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Today, The Daily Method offers five to six classes a day, with close to 40% of their regulars attending some or all.

“The feedback I’ve gotten has been wonderful. People have told me that the classes are the one thing they can count on to shut out all the noise around us,” said Stuart. She will probably continue to offer the online classes after the studio re-opens.

Stuart recreates the classroom experience by wearing a Bluetooth headset, playing music and hosting the classes on Zoom.

She can see what individual students are doing and offer feedback as appropriate.

“I never say anything negative to anyone. If a student could make a positive change in a pose, I suggest it for the whole class.”

Students can elect to turn off their video, although Stuart recommends that they not do so. The video also enable students across the country to participate.

“We meet so many people who drop in for classes when they are here on vacation. Several have told me how glad they are to find us online.”

Other The Daily Method studios have taken Stuart’s lead and now offer online classes. “It means we’ve got top instructors offering classes,” she said.

Info: thedailymethod.com/studios/napa/overview.

See you downtown!

Craig Smith is the executive director of the Downtown Napa Association. Reach him at 257-0322 or craig@donapa.com.

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