The owner of a newly-opened pet shop in Andover, Hampshire says it’s a ‘dream come true’ to finally be following in his grandfather’s footsteps.
Richie Burgess and his father, Danny, opened Burgos Pet World, marking a triumphant return to the town for a family business that traces its roots back almost 50 years.
Richie’s grandfather first opened a pet store in Ragged Appleshaw in 1972, before relocating to Andover three years later, reports the Andover Advertiser.
His shop remained in town for 37 years until his retirement, but now Richie is carrying on the legacy.
Richie said: “It was always the main goal and a bit of a dream to be fair, walking in my grandad’s footsteps. From a young lad it was my goal to open the shop with my wife and family and everybody.”
Richie and his wife, Katie, will run the shop with help from their family, but a series of unexpected setbacks meant their plans to open in time for August were dealt a major blow.
Danny said: “We were ready to open really and all of a sudden the water started coming through the ceiling like Niagara Falls.”
One of the bathrooms in the flats upstairs had flooded, so plumbers came in to fix the problem and told the tenants to use a different bathroom in the meantime. Except, they told them to use the wrong one, says Danny.
“So we re-did the tiles and the ceiling, but then it flooded again,” he added.
“But we were determined not to open until we had everything 100 per cent, for the animals’ welfare more than anything.”
After the second ceiling repair, a power cut left the team relying on a temporary generator, but despite all the issues they were able to get the job done and have the shop ready to open.
Richie says that since the grand opening, he has been bowled over by the number of visitors and the response from the public.
“I’ve been really surprised to be honest,” he added. “And it’s not just the people coming in, it’s the warm welcome we’ve had from people reminiscing about grandad’s shop.”