Store of the Month – November 2020
1063 TALBOT STREET
ST. THOMAS, ONTARIO
|Monday:||9:30am – 8:00pm|
|Tuesday:||9:30am – 8:00pm|
|Wednesday:||9:30am – 8:00pm|
|Thursday:||9:30am – 8:00pm|
|Friday:||9:30am – 8:00pm|
|Saturday:||9:30am – 6:00pm|
|Sunday:||11:00am – 5:00pm|
Our store of the month for November is Southwest Pet in London, Ontario, Canada! Owner Paul Unrau dipped his toes into the reptile business world back in 1993 when he owned and operated the shop Feathers and Fur. This sparked a passion that spread to his son Andrew, and inspired them to open Southwest Pet together in 1998. They’ve been so successful that they’ve since expanded into a second location in St. Thomas, Ontario.
As a kid, Andrew kept gerbils, cats, and aquarium fish, and he still has an especially soft spot in his heart for cats. However, when Andrew acquired a pair of green basilisk lizards (which he setup in a Paludarium style setup), and successfully raised and bred them, the species quickly became his favorite reptile.
Southwest Pet moved to their current location in 2008. Their focus is on reptiles, but they carry supplies for fish/pond, birds, small animals, dogs, and cats as well. Their favorite animal to work with in the store would be Clifford, the Red Tegu that arrived at the store in 1998 as a baby and remains a store mascot. Clifford is extremely popular with customers and gets daily visits from many different clients. Oliver the Red Footed Tortoise is another favorite store mascot that loves to interact with customers and staff and has an amazing, outgoing personality. Both Clifford and Oliver have done many educational shows throughout their lives to educate kids on the world of reptiles.
The store breeds a lot of the animals they sell in house, including bearded dragons, veiled chameleons, crested geckos, ball pythons, boa constrictors, etc. They also sell leopard geckos, water dragons, various amphibian species, scorpions, and arachnids.
Plenty of feeders are available at their store. Both live and frozen rodents including mice and rats, crickets, waxworms, mealworms, superworms, silkworms, and hornworms are a standard offering, and chicks and quails are available with special orders.
In addition to feeders, Southwest Pet carries a wide variety of dry goods. When it comes to heat bulbs, UVB bulbs and fixtures, glass terrariums, heat related items, canned and dried foods, supplements, cage decorations and substrates, customers can expect a large variety of quality Zoo Med products to suit their needs from beginners to experts alike.
Future plans for the stores would be to continue to keep a strong focus on reptiles within the two locations. Andrew plans to keep up with growing trends in the stores. He’s noticed bioactive terrariums and colubrid snakes being especially popular recently, and they now offer these snake species, and isopods, springtails, and all the supplies necessary to make bioactive habitats. In an ever-changing industry, it is important to keep up with new trends and adjust to new ways of retail which is evident in the stores while maintain the highest standard in customer service.
Helping customers and their beloved pets daily demands knowledge of products and the animals which is something that the staff proudly commit to. The store manager at the St. Thomas location, Dean Masse, has gathered just as loyal of a customer following as the London location due to his exceptional customer service and knowledge.
If you stop into the store and notice Andrew isn’t there, you can probably find him deep into a project on his computer, or following his passion for Star Wars (most likely building a lego set).
When visiting the London or St Thomas areas, be sure to stop in and visit Southwest Pet and check out all the neat animals, store mascots, custom display terrariums and amazing staff members!