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Local educator has the scoop on doggy poop

DAVID STONE | OUR TOWN TEMPLE

Nathan Farrell is often down in the dumps, and there’s no place he’d rather be. After all, his poop-scooping business is really picking up.

Farrell, a 12-year educator who teaches at Belton ISD’s alternative school, also co-owns a business with his wife — Scoop Sessions. So when he’s not stimulating the minds of young students, he is scooping the poop of dogs all over Bell County.

“I took a break from teaching during the pandemic,” Nathan said this week. “I was home with my daughter in 2020, and I was looking for a way to make extra money. I had four dogs, so I was scooping their poop daily. It just sort of hit me: This is a service others might need.”

“It was the perfect solution for me,” he said. “It allowed me to get out and about, take my daughter with me, and remain contactless with others. My first thought was starting a lawn service, but the market has become saturated with yard-care businesses. Besides, a lawn business requires expensive equipment and it would be difficult to do as one person.”

So poop scooping it was. Nathan bought lots of gloves and trash bags, a trash container and basic poop-scooping equipment.

“It didn’t take long before I needed something bigger to put the poop in, so I went to Lowe’s and bought an industrial-sized  job site dust pan. Now I make fewer trips to the trash can. Usually, I can scoop an entire yard before having to dump the pan.”

Nathan’s wife, Mary Beth, is also involved in the business.

“I’m not really a scooper,” she said with a laugh. “I’m the communications director at the Dr. Pepper Museum in Waco, and I handle the business side of Scoop Sessions,” Mary Beth said. “Business has really taken off, and we decided we better be more official and formal.”

Scoop Sessions currently has about 50 clients that get their yards cleaned weekly. 

“Business is definitely growing,” Nathan said. “We recently hired two additional scoopers, and the goal is to have 100 weekly customers. We’re on our way.”

“We offer full service scooping,” he added. “We scoop and bag the waste, then haul it away. Right now we are putting it in our residential trash, but it’s getting to be too much. We’re looking into a Dumpster rental. We also plan to buy a company vehicle.”

Nathan has found out that his initial instinct was right on the nose — people need and want this service.

“There’s enough business in Bell County to keep us scooping,” he said. “Our customers have different needs. Some have disposable income and don’t necessarily want to scoop poop. Some want to maximize their time with loved ones or work. Many of our clients are elderly, and they don’t want to give up a pet because they can’t keep up with the backyard maintenance.”

Mary Beth said in addition to regular clients, Scoop Sessions also is popular with rental and real estate companies looking to clean up a property before putting it on the market.

“We also do one-time cleanups for people who are going to have a party or backyard event,” she said.

There’s a lot of dogs in Bell County, and if they keep pooping, the Farrells will be scooping for years to come.

For pricing, scheduling and additional information, call Mary Beth and Nathan at (254) 289-5742. To sign up online and get on a Scoop Session route, visit https://www.scoopsessions.com/schedule.

Nathan Farrell displays some of his poop-scooping equipment along with his poodle, Dwight. Nathan and his wife, Mary Beth, own Scoop Sessions and specialize in the removal of dog poop for residential yards. Nathan also is a Belton ISD educator and Mary Beth is the communications director for the Dr. Pepper Museum in Waco. 

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