One bright spot to take away from the past year and a half is an appreciation for the spectacular beauty that surrounds us here in Cavan. Getting outside was the bright side of a pandemic that didn’t have much else to do.
As restrictions ease, many people continue to enjoy the outdoors, and Cavan’s Pet Shop Boyz has hired additional staff to meet this growing customer demand. Padraig McCaffrey is the owner of the business, which facilitates the growing interest in the outdoors.
Pet Shop Boyz offers a range of pets, pet accessories, outdoor gear and has a new angling section that is a wonderland for all who care. interested in fishing. The store floor at Moynehall Business Park on Ballinagh Road is an Aladdin cave of rods, reels and fishing gear.
Behind the counter is Artur “Archie” Sztejno. Archie is an avid fisherman and he puts that enthusiasm to work: “This year people will be spending more time in Ireland,” he explains. “Cavan has so much to offer for fishing, whether it’s serious anglers or just taking the kids on an activity you wouldn’t normally do.”
Archie knows all about the products on offer in Pet Shop Boyz and knows that every customer is different: “Not everyone will want to buy high end rods and reels. We provide equipment for beginners as well as for experienced fishermen.
“Each style of fishing is taken into account; big game fishing, predator fly fishing and all intermediate types. We provide equipment to enhance your fishing experience here at Pet Shop Boyz.
In the Lakelands we are fortunate to have an abundance of fishing options. Archie says many customers know what they’re looking for: “Pike fishing is the main thing here. Everyone who fishes in Cavan wants to catch a pike.
“Coarse fishing is very popular, there has been an increase in the popularity of pole fishing. It’s more difficult as a play sport, but it’s exciting to fish it.
When asked if he gives any clues about the fishing spots, he replies, “I’d rather not, because that could be my corner”, before bursting out laughing, “of course, that is. not a big secret. We have a few rivers that are really good. The Annalee and the Erne are perfect fishing rivers. Many fishermen want to find their corner, it is one of the great pleasures of fishing. It’s part of the adventure.
The lockdown has given many people time to indulge in their leisure time. Archie says this has created a strong demand for fishing products: “Predator Fishing Stock Pure fishing brands such as Abu Garcia, Berkley, Pennn, Spiderwire, Shakespear and JRC are popular. We have brought exciting new brands to Cavan like Lucky John and Tailwalk. I was fishing on Lough Sheelin on weekends and caught some nice big trout.
The store also offers Baltic life jackets for anglers and water sports enthusiasts and even for their pet cats and dogs. Another exciting new brand is Norfin outerwear and hiking shoes and boots.
Owner Padraig McCaffrey said expanding the line of fishing products seemed like a natural move over the past year: “We just saw the gap in the market. Cavan does not have a fishing store on this scale. I knew Archie was the best man for the job because he knows a lot about fishing.
The bottom section of the store (specializing in pets, pet food and accessories) has been open for seven years. The owner of the business received a good response from customers: “We’re seeing guys coming in to buy some angling gear and their partners could browse the clothing side of the store.
“Sometimes he comes back later so she doesn’t know how much he’s spending on his hobby,” Padraig jokes.
The store is well known for the range of reptiles, exotic fish, birds, hamsters, rabbits and guinea pigs. They also offer everything in pet accessories, including collars, leashes, toys and treats as well as shampoos, conditioners and pet bedding. On both floors, guests can get help with food and accessories for all of their pets.
Part of the store’s popularity is due to the advice customers may receive: “We have a small horse riding section and a camping section. We have hiking shoes, walking equipment and clothing essential for the outdoor lifestyle.
“We can advise you on what is most appropriate for the weather at the time. Even if you are only walking the dog, it is important to have the right jacket. There is a big difference in the comfort and enjoyment you get from a walk if you wear breathable and appropriate clothing, ”says Padraig.
One of the innovative services offered by Pet Shop Boyz is the grooming service offered Monday through Sunday: “It has proven to be very popular,” Padraig concluded.