View Full Version : Goodbye Island Pets

11-07-2015, 07:35 PM
I just received a newsletter from Island Pets saying that they would close their operation on Nov 12.
This is a very sad news for aquatic community (salt or freshwater) in Vancouver.
Island Pets is not a fly-by-night operation. It started even before I started the freshwater hobby which was more than 15 years ago. At that time there were 2 operations in greater Vancouver area, one in Richmond and another one in north road area. At that time they were chain stores of Big Al's. Grant was the manager of both stores.
About 10 or so years ago (can't remember the exact time), Grant bought the 2 stores from Big Al's and rename them to Island Pets. The Island refers to the Jamaica island where Grant came from originally. At around the same time or even before that, Grant started a collection/clam raising operation in Vanuatu. Grant used to supply his 2 stores with fish only from Vanuatu and claimed all fish were net caught (without cyanide). I liked their fish at that time.
That net caught only thing lasted for a couple years. But because of fierce competition, he started to bring in fish from other regions like indo-pacific and the Philippines.
The business continued to deteriorate. Grant tried to change his business model by giving the pet (dog/cat) section of the stores a bigger space. He also cut back on the leased space.
Grant sold his stores about 3-4 years ago. He wanted to concentrate on his Vanuatu operation (sustainable reef supplies Vanuatu). There is a basement operation in Vancouver that constantly bring in fish from that operation now day. You can find them on Facebook.
The new owner(s) closed the north road store about one year ago. Now they are closing the remaining store in Richmond.
RIP island pets!

11-07-2015, 08:12 PM
Thanks for all the background information - I didn't know any of that. It's definitely sad to see retail stores go, but I am happy that Grant in continuing in Vanuatu.

11-07-2015, 08:47 PM
Big Als on North Rd was my go to place back in my fresh water days, and Grant was always very helpful. Wishing him the best in the future.

Coral Hoarder
11-08-2015, 03:00 AM
Not exactly how it hapend but good story

11-08-2015, 03:18 AM
Not exactly how it hapend but good story

I like stories. What's your version? :D