Store of the Month – August 2017

Simply Pets

1977 S Military Hwy
Chesapeake, VA 23320

Store Hours:
Monday: 10:00am – 8:00pm
Tuesday: 10:00am – 8:00pm
Wednesday: 10:00am – 8:00pm
Thursday: 10:00am – 8:00pm
Friday: 10:00am – 8:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday: 12:00pm – 5:00pm


Jeff Severts and his wife Shanonn are no strangers to the pet business. Jeff’s family has been in the retail pet trade since the 80s, with Jeff himself working as a manufacturer’s rep for over 11 years before opening his own store in Chesapeake, Virginia. That store would be Simply Pets.

When Simply Pets opened in 2006, it started as a general pet store accommodating to a variety of animals. Over the years, Jeff and Shanonn decided to focus on the more exotic brand of pet, like fish and reptile, and specialize in what the competition put the least emphasis in. Their intuition paid off as their business grew. In 2013, the size of their location doubled to 5,000 square feet.

“Our biggest market is to the fish side of the store, both fresh and marine, but the reptile department has also grown, and is our second biggest category.”

They’ve found that many of their reptile customers come to them for the bigger selection of products that they have stocked, and for the extra knowledge they can provide. Jeff and Shanonn keep many reptiles as pets, with 3 Adult Redfoot Tortoises as store mascots that they have free roam the store time-to-time. In the back of the store, they have a small breeding room, where they keep over 50 snakes for breeding. Not the most common ones either, expect to see Royal Diadem Ratsnakes, Baron’s Racers, Stillwater Bullsnakes, Licorice Ratsnakes, and a few other unusual species.

They’ve come to form great partnerships with several big vendors, and are proud to count Zoo Med in that circle. Zoo Med products are a staple in their store, and are used for their private collection.

They plan to focus most of their attention on the aquatics and reptiles going forward. These are the areas they are most passionate about, and they see the most potential for both growing their business and helping consumers better understand these animals and their care.