Nestled in the harbourside city of Coffs Harbour in NSW’s mid-north coast, Brontosaurus Pet Super Centre has been under the care of Prue and Jock Fisher since 2011.
With a passion for pets and a deep-rooted love for animals, the Fisher’s embarked on a journey to create a pet store that would be a one-stop destination for all things furry, feathery, scaly, and finned. Over the years, Brontosaurus has evolved, expanded, and become an integral part of the lives of countless pet parents.
Prue Fisher, Owner of Brontosaurus Pet Super Centre, said they want all customers to have a positive and interactive experience when coming to the store.
“We encourage our customers to bring in their pets, so they too can enjoy the Brontosaurus experience. Our staff are super passionate about pets and love helping customers be the best pet parents they can be.
“We want to match the right person or family to the right pet to ensure they enjoy the many benefits of bringing a pet into their life. We are solution focused and aim for all customers to leave with a new piece of info that may help them be a better pet parent.”
Brontosaurus is not just a store; it’s a reflection of a local family’s love for animals. The Fisher’s, along with their three children, can often be found at the store, personally attending to customers and their pets’ needs. With a menagerie of their own at home, they understand the laughter, responsibility, and unconditional love that pets bring into people’s lives.
“We are passionate about educating people on being the best pet parents they can be to ensure their pets live happy healthy lives. We love it when people bring their Bronto babies back in-store for cuddles, weigh-ins, nail trims, baths, or just to say hi, as it gives us such a unique opportunity to maintain a relationship with the animal for its life,” explained Fisher.
Upon stepping into Brontosaurus Pet Super Centre, one is greeted by a vibrant and colourful space that mirrors the store’s logo. The layout has been meticulously designed to guide customers through various animal departments, keeping them engaged at every turn.
“Each department has an animal enclosure and products for that animal. Fish are displayed on the right-hand side of the shop, which you walk past to get to the grooming room, puppies, and birds. Dog and fish sections are at the front of the shop as they are the most popular department. Big bags of dog food and poultry food are at the front of the shop for ease.”
What sets Brontosaurus apart from its competitors is its extensive range of products and the expertise of their staff. With Katie Sippel, Manager of Brontosaurus, boasting more than 20 years of experience, customers can trust the guidance and advice they receive.
“We like to source products from smaller suppliers with unique products and to promote Australian made products. We also sell animals, so there is an immediate point of difference – you can see them, hear them, smell them, and interact with them. Whether it’s a rescue kitten or cat, a hand raised bird, a rabbit, or a fish – the vibrancy and life that animals bring to the store is a definite point of difference.”
Like any business, Brontosaurus has faced its fair share of challenges. Relocating the store in 2013 was a daunting task, but with the support of their incredible staff, they managed to transition smoothly to new premises located nearby.
“We spent many a late night wheeling, driving, and carrying stock from one premises to the next. It was a very hectic few months but well worth it.”
Another hurdle that had to be tackled head-on was the negative perceptions some people associate with pet stores.
“We believe that pet shops play a vital role in maintaining the standard of animal welfare and educating customers about pet health. People want pets, and we believe that a pet shop is a great avenue to acquire one, rather than the internet, which offers no options for follow up questions or care.
“Each animal has a very specific set of requirements to ensure their health and wellbeing and our staff have a wealth of knowledge and enjoy sharing this expertise.”
The store has already achieved significant milestones in recent years, such as being crowned the Just For Pets Retailer of the Year in both 2014 and 2021.
“We have been members of Just for Pets throughout the whole time we have owned the store, which has been invaluable to us given it was a steep learning curve. Just For Pets has provided us with networking, marketing, and buying opportunities to ensure our business continues to be successful, something we would not have been able to achieve on our own.”
Moreover, they have successfully weathered the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring the wellbeing of their staff and customers throughout.
But their commitment to animals doesn’t end at their store’s walls; Brontosaurus has also partnered with a rescue group and successfully rehomed more than 1000 cats and kittens, ensuring they find loving forever homes.
“We believe giving back to our local community, who support us, is super important. We sponsor the local rugby union and hockey clubs and lots of gift vouchers and pooch packs have been provided for local schools and pre-schools. We also do a local shout out on Sunday on social media as supporting local business is the key to communities thriving.”
This article originally appeared in the 2023 Winter Issue of Pet Industry News.