We had the good fortune of connecting with Mike Casten and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mike, what do you attribute your success to?
Good question! I would have to attribute our success to being genuine and truly caring about our customers and the community. When it comes down to it, anybody with a bucket could do this job. The difference is that we form a lasting relationship with our customers, go out of our way to help them whenever we can, and always try to give back to the community. Because of this, people realize that we are doing more than just cleaning up their yard and they want to support us.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Poodini Pet Waste Removal is your friendly, neighborhood “pooper scooper” service. We provide a reliable and affordable service for our customers who are physically unable, lack the time, or simply would rather not do the “dirty” work for themselves. Honestly, I started the business as a side gig to make a little extra spending money. I figured it was a low overhead business that could keep me busy on the weekends. Once the word got out, I started getting more and more calls and eventually had to cut my hours at my full-time job to keep up with the demand. After a while, I realized that this business had real potential and eventually hired my first employee shortly before giving up my full-time job so I could put all of my efforts into growing Poodini. It hasn’t always been easy, as I’ve had to make sacrifices and take a few risks along the way, but I couldn’t be happier with the way things have turned out. I’m now able to support a team of awesome people, take care of many more customers than I ever could have imagined, and provide for my family while being my own boss! As we’ve grown bigger, I’ve also been able to utilize my network to help support the dog rescues and shelters. We run a toy drive to collect supplies (toys, food, blankets, etc) and spread awareness in the hopes that we can help dogs be more comfortable while searching for their forever homes. It’s very rewarding to know that we can make a difference and help save the lives of our furry friends!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is a tough one to answer but here goes. I would definitely want to take them to some of my favorite local restaurants, so we’d need to go by Zzeek’s Pizza, Arizona BBQ Company, Elmer’s Tacos, Joe’s Farm Grill, Cinnaholic, and Dulce Churro Cafe (I’m sure I’m missing many others!). We’d also have to visit OHSO Brewery and Uncle Bear’s Grill & Tap because they have the most amazing dog-friendly patios in town. I would take them to visit the MCACC shelters as well as Pittie Me Rescue to spend some quality time with dogs who could use some extra attention. Of course, for my artistic friends, we need to make it out to First Friday in downtown Phoenix so I could show them some of the unique culture our city has to offer.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to give a shout out to my beautiful wife, Kim. When I asked her if she’d still love me if I quit my job and became a pooper scooper, she looked at me dead serious and said, “I love you no matter what you do. If you think this is a good move for our family, then I fully support you on this decision.” She is and always will be my biggest advocate. Additionally, I’d like to give a shout out to my team…Spencer, Hollie, and Hutch. They have all bought into my vision for the company and work hard every day to help us grow and maintain the reputation that started when I was just a one man show. Poodini would not be what it is today without all of their dedication!