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Cashing in on chores: Local companies thrive doing things others don’t want to do

The Daily Progress: April 22, 2017

Photo Credit: Daily Progress

Photo Credit: Daily Progress

Jacob and Susan D’Aniello started Doody Calls as University of Virginia graduates who picked up poo to help pay off student loans.

Now, they’ve sold franchises in more than 20 states.

“Pet waste sort of checked a lot of the boxes for us and made a lot of sense business-wise,” said Jacob, 40, sitting with Susan, 41, in a conference room in the Charlottesville franchising office they affectionately call “Dooville.”

“We wanted to build a business together, work outside and have a recurring revenue stream, so we weren’t waking up every morning with no income,” he said. “We wanted something that couldn’t be outsourced and something where we were building our pie rather than taking pieces from competitors.”

Doody Calls came from necessity. It was the turn of the 21st century. Sporting degrees in art history and economics, the D’Aniellos found themselves living in Northern Virginia and struggling to make ends meet. It was time to start a side business.

 “Even if we could only get one or two dog owners to hire us, we knew it would grow from there,” said Susan. “Our first scoop was in 2000. Our first franchise agreement was signed in 2005, and we’ve been growing since.”

There were some strange moments.

Continue reading this article at the Charlottesville Daily Progress.