NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 2007/02/17 - The owner of Pet City in Mt Gravatt, Queensland, said his family business was still thriving as the store began celebrations for its 50th birthday this week. Dogs, cats, birds, aquarium fish, turtles and reptiles entertained visitors.
Pet City owner, Evio Contenati, said he was pleased with the way his business had performed over the last 50 years as the pet industry evolved and expanded.
“After 50 years we’re still holding our own – we’re always doing well,” he said.
“Now with the pet industry becoming a billion dollar industry we’re looking towards developing an online component to the store.”
“That’s the next step for developing things, as a lot of people have access to the internet these days.”
Mr Contenati said although his pet store is now well established, he started out his business career as a partner in what was originally a produce and farm supplies store.
“At first the business didn’t sell any pets - we focussed mainly on livestock such as horses and the sale of seeds and things like that,” he said.
“Then dog products started coming out in the early 60’s, and by the late 60’s and 70’s the pet industry took off."
“So we phased out the farming side of things in the 70’s and focussed entirely on pets.”
From the beginning of his business venture, Mr Contenati said his family had always been a strong part of the way things ran.
He said the first phase of the business had been a partnership with his Brother in law, but after the business shifted to pets his daughter Kim joined him as a partner.
“She [Kim Contenati] got involved about 30 years ago and we’ve been working together ever since,” he said.
“We’ve won a lot of awards including best store in Australia, and Kim’s won the gold logie for the pet industry.”
Mr Contenati said when he made the shift to selling pet products in the 1970’s it was his intention to provide his customers with a range of specialised pet services, a new concept at the time.
“As far as I know we were the first pet store to focus on all pets - all the others only sold this or that,” he said.
“We’ve always had specialty services such as a vet, grooming, puppy training and parrot training.”
Mr Contenati said he believed it was this specialised service which made his years in the pet industry a success.
“We [pet city] pride ourselves on giving correct advice,” he said.
“We’ve got completely separate departments for dogs, cats, birds, aquariums etc and so the people working there are experts – they know so much because it’s their passion.”
As well as providing pet sales, Mr Contenati said during his time in operation he had also been actively involved in the community through pets.
“We take pets on school tours to teach children about being responsible and caring for different pets,” he said.
“We also take pets to retirement homes to let the residents enjoy a bit of the animals’ company.”
“There’s lots of scientific papers showing the benefits of having pets around, and so we like to share some of these benefits with the community.”
As part of their 50th birthday celebrations, Pet City Mt Gravatt are hosting an open day and birthday cake cutting this Saturday the 17th of February from 10 am.