Pet shop

Animal lovers open a different pet store in Paignton

Three animal lovers who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic seized the opportunity to realize their dream and start their own boutique and community space dedicated to pets and wildlife.

The Nature Nook opened in Totnes Road in December, selling high quality, ethically sourced pet supplies, as well as products to feed wildlife in your garden, such as bird feeders and seeds .

Former zookeeper Alex Mockridge, 23, from Paignton, runs The Nature Nook with her boyfriend, wildlife behaviorist and former animal educator Jason Woodcock, 32, and his friend from Plymouth University, the environmentalist Makenzie Ferrier, 24.

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She said: ‘We are really excited about what we are doing as we are a not-for-profit community interest company and we have loads of ideas on how to provide something really special and unique to Paignton.

“Removing the profit incentive was a way of showing people that we’re not here for the money, we’re here to help animals live their best lives. It’s important to us that animals get cared for. properly.

Profits made in the shop will be used to fund community projects and the three directors have lots of plans for these.

Alex Mockridge said she and college friend Makenzie Ferrier dreamed of opening a pet store, and Alex’s boyfriend Jason Woodcock was “dragged along for the ride”.

“We’re going to have boxes ready for February midterm with wildlife information and magnifying glasses to help kids find bugs and learn about nature,” Alex said. “We would also like to create a community garden and do community litter pick-ups and beach clean-ups over the next few months.”

Shop visitors can relax in an area called the Book Nook. “The books are primarily aimed at children,” Alex said. “They range from nature and wildlife books to how to care for a parakeet or a guinea pig.”

Alex and Jason have two small parrots and a turtle – which now reside in the shop – as well as two parakeets, two guinea pigs and a snail. She said the team were more than happy to offer advice on pet care.

The Nature Nook also collects cat food and litter for local charity South Devon Cats Rehoming.

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Alex said that as this is his first venture, it has been difficult but positive. She said: “We are lucky to have had a lot of help. The Torbay development agency has been very helpful and we have family members with areas of expertise that have been helpful such as accounting and carpentry.

“At the moment we have a few students doing work experience with us and we hope to have more in the future.

“The outpouring of support has been overwhelming, not just from friends and family, but people have come out and been so lovely.

“We really enjoy being in each other’s company and doing what we love.”