FALCONER - Thirty years ago, Sylvia Magara had thoughts of becoming a veterinarian, but didn't want to go through several years of schooling before being around animals.
So instead of spending time studying veterinary medicine in a library, Mrs. Magara decided to open a pet store in order to be around animals. That decision has paid off because now she and her husband, Dan, will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of The Blue Fin Pet Shop on Saturday, June 23.
The Magaras will be giving away pet accessories like bandanas and frisbees and will be joined by state Sen. Catharine Young, R-C-I-Olean, and Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi during the anniversary celebration. Also, the pet shop owners will be collecting money that will be donated to the Chautauqua County Human Society.
Dan and Sylvia Magara, The Blue Fin Pet Shop owners, and their dogs, Boomer and Lotto, are shown inside their business located at 17 W. Main St., Falconer. The Magaras will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of their pet shop Saturday, June 23, with giveaways and state Sen. Catharine Young, R-C-I-Olean, and Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi.
P-J photo by Dennis Phillips
''I've always been an animal lover. It is nice to share an interest with other people who come into the store,'' Mrs. Magara said. ''It is nice meeting the customers and working one-on-one with them to get them the best product they need for their pets. They will bring them into the store and we get to know them. It is nice to get a kiss or a lick from a four-legged friend.''
Magara said it is no secret to why The Blue Fin has been operating at 17 W. Main St., Falconer, for the past 30 years.
''If you don't change and bring in what the customer wants, your not going to be successful,'' he said. ''You have to treat people fairly. We try so very hard to give people great customer service.''
The pet shop has supplies and accessories for fish, dogs, cats and birds. When the business first opened, it mainly just sold tropical fish, but through the years has expanded to include items for most household pets. The business has custom-fit harnesses, leashes, collars, clothes, toys, treats, beds and crates for pets. The store even carries items for homemade ponds.
The only live animal the store sells is fish, which are quarantined in private aquariums at the Magara's home to make sure people are purchasing a quality pet. If you don't find what you are looking for in the store, the Magaras will special order the item.
''We're always willing to go the extra step for the customer,'' Magara said. ''Our customers are our favorite part. We work hard to get what they need.''
Through the years, the pet shop owners said they have been lucky to meet and know several families in the area.
''It is nice to get to know the people. We have more friends than customers now,'' Mrs. Magara said. ''You see the generations now. We're seeing adults who came in here with their parents as children now coming in with their own kids.''
Mrs. Magara said one luxury of owning a pet store is being able to bring in their two dogs, Boomer and Lotto, who greet customers as they visit the store.
The Magaras also are now buying silver, gold, old coins and sterling. Magara said they are one of the largest buyers in the area.
The Blue Fin Pet Shop is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 665-3522.