Siegfried Gutekunst, or ‘Ziggy’ as his customers know him, opened the original Hidden Reef in a small shop in North East Philadelphia in 1995. The store steadily grew from 1,400 sq. ft to 5,600 sq. ft. Unfortunately tragedy struck in 2005, when a fire ripped through the store and destroyed everything. Not to be deterred by the sudden downward turn of events, Ziggy opened an even bigger store in its present location with over 20,000 sq. ft. This includes a fish room that is larger than the entire original store!
The old store was a fish specific store, and the present location opened as fish only as well. But with so much room, Ziggy was soon catering to his customers other pet needs as well. Along with getting anything they could possibly want/need for their fresh water aquariums, salt water aquariums, or ponds, the customers of The Hidden Reef can also pick up products for their dogs, cats, small animals, and birds. Let’s not forget reptiles! The store started carrying reptiles and supplies in 2010, and has since grown to having over 40 reptile enclosures in the store, and carries any products that the herp enthusiast could possibly need.
Along with the reptiles for sale in the store, they also maintain a large number of store pet reptiles that they use for educational purposes. One large room in the store is dedicated to parties and educational events. This room is lined by a beautiful pond on two sides; teeming with Japanese Koi and a waterfall. During these events, the attendees are able to meet and touch some of the store pets including a black and white Tegu, Corn Snake, Blue Tongue Skink, Redfoot Tortoise, Diamondback Terrapin, and much more. Along with the parties in the store, they also take the show on the road and have done educational events for a number of local schools.
In addition to catering to his customers by carrying the largest supply of fish and reptile products in the area, Ziggy also likes to give back to his community and customers in a bigger way every year with the store’s annual anniversary sale, which is held the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Along with excellent discounts for their customers, the store also holds a raffle for products that the customers can win with the proceeds being donated to a local charitable organization.
So, if you’re in the neighborhood or looking for a road trip to check out a great pet store, you won’t be disappointed with the Hidden Reef!!