When most people think of reptiles, Minnesota is one of the last places they think. It's simply too cold for most of the year! That is until they head into Twin Cities Reptiles; a Twin Cities mainstay since 1978. Bruce Delles started the business as a mail order reptile supply company before turning it into a retail store in 1980. From those early days, to the days in the record store basement, to their current 6000+ sq foot facility, it's always been warm enough inside for reptiles and reptile keepers a like. Unlike so many stores that have celebrated their 36th anniversary, Bruce, Sara (store manager and Bruce's right hand lady), and their amazing staff are constantly at work to improve and update the store. Over the past year they have removed the stores live fish department and replaced it with new reptile, amphibian, and insect enclosures, almost doubling their enclosure space!
In an effort to provide quality herps to their customers, the store not only works with local and national breeders and distributors, but also breeds a vast array of the animals they sell. At any point the store is working on over 50 species of reptile and amphibians. This includes various geckos, Milksnakes, Baron's Racers, Ball Pythons [including developing their own morph], Corn Snakes, Flat Rock Lizards, albino and leucistic Rainbow Boas, Curly Tail Lizards, and even Green Anoles, as well as an ever growing collection, of invertebrates, including roaches, mantids, beetles and more.
The store also makes a conscious effort to reach out to the community in an effort to help raise reptile-keeping awareness but also to simply be a positive member of their community. They work with schoolteachers from the elementary level up to the university level at the University of Minnesota, to place the proper pet in their classrooms. They have also started a shadow program, where they bring in students from the fifth grade and up, to follow an employee around, in an effort to help them understand the daily workings of the store, as well as work ethics.
So the next time you are in the Twin Cities area, make sure you stop in to Twin Cities Reptiles to do some Minnesota style herping. And feel free to say “Hi” to some of their store pets, including Potsie the Rhino Iguana, and Oscar the albino Reticulated Python.