I’ve been here 28 years, I used to run the electrical shop too. I took over the pet shop from someone else. I was area manager for pet shops in Bury but then ended up running this one, never expected I would be! I’ve picked up a lot over the years.
I still live in Bury, close to the countryside – I’ve always been interested in animals, they’ve always been in my life. I’ve got a dog, and I have an outdoor pond with fish. They’re not hard to look after, you just have to make sure you don’t overstock it.
A lot of people tend to come to me before they go to a vet – I get all sorts of questions. A guy has just come in and asked for a hedgehog house – I’ve been asked for loaves of bread before, don’t know why…
It’s a little quiet at the moment. The big stores are taking over, supermarkets sell pet food by weight now too. When I first started there was a six month wait for stalls, now you can just get one. We used to have a flea market, it always got people in, but it’s empty now. The outside markets have gone completely now too. Wednesdays used to be our second busiest day because of the markets – a lot of people would come from out of town.
There’s a lot that’s good about working here. I get to see the same faces every week. I’ve got a lot of loyal customers, some of them I’ve known for 20 years and they’re on their third generation of dog. Most of them adopt rescue dogs. Nowadays, it’s the new food stalls in the markets that attract the younger people, but its mainly regulars that come to my stall.