OAKHURST – Steve’s Tropical Fish and Pet Supply is gearing up to give away over $1,000 worth of free product to some lucky customers, as the Batemans offer up a one day blow-out sale to celebrate their four years in business.
Steve and Kristin Bateman invite the community to stop by the shop located at 40761 Highway 41 on Saturday, Apr. 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for some deep discounts and outstanding giveaways. You can check out the event page here.
With their big store on Highway 41 in Oakhurst packed to the gills with merchandise and home to creatures scaled, finned, and furry, the Batemans have come a long way since they originally opened in Coarsegold.
“Our initial goal was simply to work for ourselves,” says Steve, reflecting on the couple’s progress. “I guess that hasn’t really changed, except today we work a lot harder and lot longer than we did four years ago.”
With two small kids and a business to run, the Batemans are active and engaged on all levels.
“It’s true what employers used to tell me before I worked for myself: there’s always something you can be doing. Now, we find that there are not enough hours in the day to get done what needs to be done. We’ve learned a lot about managing our time and managing finances while making memories with the little guys.”
Looking back, it was a bold move to start a business in the middle of a recession, but Kristin says they forged ahead despite the odds.
“We didn’t really think about it then,” says the busy shopkeeper.
“Steve got a lot of great deals on the equipment we opened with and our overhead is pretty low. We worked together and stuck to a strict budget.”
As with any start-up, Kristin admits there were some bad days, particularly before they took the store north from Coarsegold into Oakhurst. That move marked a turning point.
“I remember one day we sold only one item for $6. When our lease was up Steve convinced me to dip into savings and relocate to Oakhurst. We’ve been adding on ever since.”
In addition to the key stakeholder position of being parents to Nic and Jaxon, both the bigger Batemans are active in the community, and the store employs two students part-time who are enrolled in work experience programs. The business is a member of the Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce, and Steve’s contributes to community events on a monthly basis. One of the Bateman family’s favorite activities is coming up next month.
“We’re participating in the OakMinster Dog Show in on Sunday, Apr. 26 with the Oakhurst Mountain Lions Club,” says Club member Kristin.
“We’ll be working with Natural Balance and running a booth, and offering discounts on our already guaranteed lowest prices. We are also one of the event sponsors.” All OakMinster proceeds go to benefit the EMC-SPCA.
Like just about any industry, the business of selling beloved family pets and pet supplies has its trends. Kristin explains that the most popular items on the market right now are home-grown and reflect human trends in food and fashion, as well.
“It’s all about things ‘Made in the USA!’ Another one is actually similar to that of a human trend: going green. Organic and holistic foods are popular, as well as leashes and collars made from recycled or environmentally friendly materials.”
Naturally, Steve’s has all that, and more. It’s all going to be on display and on sale this Saturday, April 4, starting at 10 a.m. and going until 5 p.m..
They’re planning the huge sale to show their appreciation for the first four years.
“As a big thank you to the community we are putting pretty much the entire store on sale,” say the bosses.
“We are giving away over $1000 in free premium dog food to the first customers. We are also raffling off a reptile kit and a fish tank kit. Chicken feed will be on sale as well as dog food and we’re giving away free hamsters with qualifying purchase. We’ll have sales all over!”
The Batemans are happy to be in business, really appreciate their customers, and look forward to a bright future as Steve’s Tropical Fish & Pet Supply continues to grow.
“We are amazed at the support that we receive from the community,” Steven says. “After all, without them we may not have made it past our little Coarsegold store. We are looking to expand the space that we have now since we’ve already outgrown what’s been given to us and we expect to see a big summer season! We see new faces daily and hope to see that continue.”