Resiliency of ALX: Belle Haven Family Dentistry

Resiliency of ALX: Belle Haven Family Dentistry

By Dr. Sarah Kennealy, DDS

My name is Dr. Sarah Kennealy and I am the owner and sole practitioner of Belle Haven Family Dentistry. Whether it’s your baby’s first dental visit or grandma’s annual cleaning, we provide dental care for your whole family.

When the bank gave me the green light to start building my practice in February of 2020, I was filled with excitement and joy. Then, one month later, the world shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. The construction on the office kept rolling, thankfully, but dentistry ground to a halt. There were so many unknowns, and the safety of a dental office was among the many question marks.

In mid-May, construction was completed on my office and it was ready to go — a moment that was supposed to bring so much excitement — was one of the scariest moments of my life. How could I open a dental office in the middle of a pandemic, when everyone was quarantined? So I waited. I started organizing, marketing, and planning and on July 23, 2020, we opened our doors to patients.

'It has been a rough ride, but we are changing and adapting and making it through.'

It wasn’t exactly the grand opening I had envisioned. There was no big party or fanfare, and we had to start slowly, only seeing patients a few days a week and following revised protocols to keep people safe while they were at the office. But it was wonderful to be there doing what I love and building a place for my practice in the same community in which I grew up.

My hope for the future is continued growth for the practice. It is my dream to become a community cornerstone. I would like to support the schools, youth sports, and local businesses of my community. I want to build Belle Haven Family Dentistry so it is not just some dental office, but rather the dental office of our community. That was also one of the reasons I put “family dentistry” in our name. I wanted people to think of us as the practice that can meet all of your family’s dental needs for as long as you need them. The kind of place where people look forward to coming to — yes, look forward to a visit to the dentist — because we are like an extended family.

My advice for other small business owners is to keep hanging in there. I have been in awe of how resilient, determined and innovative we all are. It has been a rough ride, but we are changing and adapting and making it through. I am proud of our community and encourage all to support the small businesses that make it so great.

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VIP Alexandria Magazine is proud to present The Resiliency Issue. Featuring small business COVID-19 success stories, as told by the owners who lived in it, learned to pivot + survived.

You can read all of our Resiliency Stories in our digital issue HERE.

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