August 12th, 2011 23:12 EST
Judyth Piazza interviews Brian Buscher, Co Owner of Pet Kingdom/Perky Parrot
Over 8 years ago, Deb Wolfe (my partner) purchased the building that now is home to the Pet Kingdom pet store and The Perky Parrot espresso and cocktail bar. She bought this at a time when local businesses were vacant on main street and no one wanted to do anything. She felt compelled to save a pet store and I got involved because I felt compelled to save a building that was failing down (see photos). Two years later, the building and business was reborn. Along the way we had to endure the negative comments from both residents and amazingly so, some downtown retailers. There was a large group that thought the downtown was dead and wanted nothing to do with the re-development. When the city stepped in to pay for new sidewalks, streets and antique light fixtures, there was even a retailer who filed a lawsuit to stop the progress.
Despite the negative vibe, Deb and I persevered and continued on our journey. Once it was complete, other retailers saw the error in their thinking and began to tear down their metal awning`s and rehab their fronts as well. Years later the downtown now boosts not only our newly renovated 2 story pet store and coffee shop, but a new frame shop, new chocolate shop (Chocolate season), new floral shop (Bloom Time), new 5 plex movie theatre, renovated bridal shop, new craft store and on and on. None of which was happening until we broke ground as the pioneers to "say enough is enough", let`s rebuild downtown.
Of all things that have been positive with our businesses, we are most proud that we were the ones to start the process to allow others to come years after and continue the process.
The Pet Kingdom (Tag line is ....Pet Kingdom...Where Pet`s Rule), currently occupies the first floor east store front and the entire second floor over both store fronts (Originally the second floor was 7 apartments). The Perky Parrot is in the west store front. This was an appliance store when we bought the building. Later we renovated it as a coffee shop for some friends (In a Nut Shell). After 2 years, they decided to move out of town, so we took the space over and renovated it again as The Perky Parrot.
When Deb bought the pet store, it came with a blue and gold macaw named Fred. She kept him as a store pet and renamed him King Frederick. He then became the main character of The Perky Parrot. The idea was to integrate both retail sites together. The atmosphere of The Perky Parrot is 40`s Humphrey Bogart like. The Pet Store is more colorful and whimsy. Both are destination sites more like you would find in large cities like Chicago or NYC.
Please check out Facebook for the Perky Parrot and Perky Parrot After dark (Bar).
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