Pet Hampton & Aquarium, which has been located in Wainscott for 22 years, is closing its doors.
The owner, Erika Hegyesi, was emotional on Friday, just hours after the closing signs went up in front of her Montauk Highway store.
She said she had to shutter her business, for several reasons. Her lease was not renewed and she was having difficulty making her $8,000 a month rent for the approximately 5,000-square-foot space. The down economy impacted sales over the past few years, she said, adding that many customers turned to chain stores and online stores for their pets' needs. "I can't survive on crickets and fish," she said.
Hegyesi, who lives in Hampton Bays, said she was upset to have to close after more than two decades in the same space. "I'd like to thank the community for the last 22 years," she said.
She wasn't sure exactly when she would have to leave the building, which is owned by Ben Krupinski. She said she has a court hearing on Monday. She hopes to get at least two weeks more to vacate, particularly because she is trying to sell the contents of the store.
There's plenty left — everything from bowls to dog beds and crates to fish tanks. All merchandise is between 10 and 50 percent off.
Pet Hampton also sells bunnies, birds (such as parakeets), and many different types of fish, and reptiles, like turtles. "They are the ones that need a home," Hegyesi said. Asked what will happen if they close before selling all the animals, she said, "I will find everybody a home."
Pet Hampton & Aquarium is located at 338 Montauk Highway in Wainscott, next to Wainscott Hardware.