The Jungle Pet Store Proprietor Clint Gabbert stands in entrance of his favourite aisle of the shop surrounded by fish tanks. (Max O’Neill / Craig Press)

Craig might sound an uncommon spot to search out an unique pet store.

Luckily for Clint and Leonna Gabbert, the house owners of The Jungle Pet Store in Craig, that modified 11 years in the past. With a bit little bit of creativity and a need to modify issues up, the Gabberts created a primary in Western Colorado with the store.

Closing in on its eleventh anniversary, which coincides with Clint Gabbert’s birthday March 4, The Jungle Pet Store — situated at 29 W. Victory Manner — sells many non-traditional pets reminiscent of parakeets, mice, geckos and varied sorts of unique fish, which traces the partitions with tanks of fish from all around the world.

“Our hottest pets I’d say are our aquariums and beta fish after which leopard geckos and crusted geckos and bearded dragons,” Gabbert stated.

Although his product could be very particular to a burgeoning market, Gabbert — like almost each enterprise proprietor — needed to regulate on the fly in 2020 to remain afloat because of the pandemic, which triggered important provide chain points.

Luckily for him, he was capable of make the adjustment seem seamless, incorporating unique home crops and specially-made orders of animals for patrons.

“We began carrying home crops throughout this complete factor due to provide chain points; we may’ve in all probability had our greatest 12 months ever. However there was an excellent six months the place we couldn’t get any stock and that basically damage us. We have been actually out of stuff and barely getting by for 2 months,” Gabbert stated.

The shop sells unique crops which might be uncommon to search out in locations in Colorado, until you’re inside The Jungle Pet Store.

“Simply tropical crops. Stuff you’ll be able to’t discover in a grocery retailer. Extra unique tropicals,” Gabbert added.

Regardless of the challenges with the provision chain and the shortcoming to remain stocked on merchandise, the shop has seen a rise in gross sales, largely as a result of individuals who have been caught at residence eager to do one thing. That has been the case with each animals and crops for Gabbert and The Jungle Pet Store.

“The entire pet trade has been overwhelmed by way of COVID, as a result of everyone seems to be caught at residence and that’s an excellent time to get a pet or an aquarium to work on whilst you’re quarantined or simply working from residence,” Gabbert stated.

At its core although, The Jungle Pet Store is a pet retailer, offering clients with the chance in northwest Colorado to buy unique animals they will’t discover anyplace else on the Western Slope.

Realizing that, Gabbert has to place in lengthy hours simply to verify he receives his stock.

When Gabbert will get a brand new provide of fish from his suppliers, he has an extended day because the fish arrive early within the morning at Denver Worldwide Airport contemporary off of a Southwest Airways flight.

From there, Gabbert makes the journey again to Craig as shortly as doable to get the fish into tanks on the store.

“They’re flown in to Los Angeles they usually put new oxygen and water within the luggage if it’s obligatory, after which flown on to me in Denver,” Gabbert stated. “The fish fly in at 4 within the morning on a Monday and I don’t prefer to have the fish sitting for 4 hours or 5 hours. They’ve already been within the bag for 2 days, they should get to a tank as shortly as doable.”

With the quantity of journey concerned for the fish, delivery prices for Gabbert to get tropical fish has skyrocketed on account of the pandemic due the journey prices related to bringing them from locations world wide to his retailer.

“The delivery price has gone manner up. Not essentially the value of the fish however the fee to get them right here, which trickles right down to the retail value….I’m having to foretell orders for 4 months forward of time and it’s actually tough to foretell what I would like 4 months forward of time,” Gabbert stated. “I imply I’m ordering for June proper now and hoping that it comes.”

The shop is hoping that the provision chain points clear up within the close to future and that they will proceed to get native residents the animals and merchandise to help these animals that they want.

At the moment, the Gabberts are wanting ahead to celebrating their eleventh anniversary as enterprise house owners in downtown Craig.

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