A veterinarian has decided to open a pet supplies store at his office building in Wainscott, following the closure of Pet Hampton & Aquarium last month.
Dr. Mark Davis, of the South Fork Animal Hospital, said he hopes to open the store by the end of January. The store won't sell live animals, just premium pet food and supplies, he said on Wednesday. He hopes that between his veterinary care and the new store, his complex will become "a one stop spot" for pet care needs.
Attached to the hospital, the store has a separate entrance to a 1,000-square-foot space that Davis renovated three years ago. He said it was always in his "master plan" to open a pet supplies store, but he held off because he didn't want to compete with Pet Hampton, which was there for 22 years.
In the weeks since the store closed, Davis' clients have been asking about finding a replacement. The nearest pet stores are located in Amagansett, Sag Harbor and Southampton.
"As soon as I heard they were leaving, I knew this was an opportunity to fill a need," he said. "People are really missing the pet shop," he said.
His clients have been filling out a questionnaire about what they would like to see carried in the store, and he is going to try to keep it to high-end, organic food.
Davis said he wants to keep the prices "highly competitive," including to pet food sold over the Internet. Erika Hegyesi, who owned Pet Hampton, said many of her customers turned to pet stores online and the loss in revenue was one of the reasons she could no longer afford the rent.
"This doesn't really cost me a whole lot," Davis explained. Though he has rented in the building since it was built in 1989, he took on the extra space — about 4,600 square feet in total — in 1997, and this particular area has largely gone unused.
Meanwhile, at the former Pet Hampton location, work is being done to split the space back up into two spaces in the building.
"I believe that there's going to be two new shops coming in. We're excited what's going to open there," said Maria Bartelme, whose father owns Wainscott Hardware in that building.
Are you happy to see a pet supplies store opening in Wainscott? Tell us in the comments below.