Vicki and Michael Culver, known for the beautiful gift shop and Culver's Carpet at 9 Homestead Rd. North, have opened up a new pet shop called Vicki's Petz 'n More . It's inside the building where the couple sold carpets for several years.
They said they were phasing out of the carpet business, although they still had some carpet for those that are interested.
Now, the 3,000 square foot store, adjacent to Vicki's Home for the Holidays gift shop, probably one of the nicest and most stocked gift stores in Southwest Florida, has become a pet store that carries everything from pet foods to birds, cute little furry animals to fresh water tropical fish. Add feeder crickets, mice and feeder fish to the list.
Finch for Sale: Vicki Culver holds a little finch that is for sale at her new pet store on Homestead Rd. in the building that housed Culvers Carpets. The new pet store carries small petting animals, birds and tropical fish and food and supplies for them. Photo by Mel Toadvine
The Culvers have been in Lehigh for three decades and have been active in most community affairs. Both are also known for their interest in long distance running and the many competitions they have taken part in.
Vicki is all smiles today as someone walks into the store and looks for a finch.
"Here's a cute little fellow," Vicki says. She holds the little finch in her hands close to her face. "Isn't he cute?"
Front view of new pet store: This is the front of Vicki's Petz 'n More pet store at 7 Homestead Rd. It used to be Culver Carpets but Mike and Vicki Carpet are phasing out the carpet part of the business. Photo by Mel Toadvine
In addition to the finch, Vicki and Michael sell all types of birds. That part of the business is not new for Vicki as she breeds birds and has sold them in the past.
"I'm continuing to breed our own birds so we know we have the best strains," Vicki said. In the front of the store are all sizes of bird cages to fit the large collector to the smallest.
"We have them all cockatiels, finches, parakeets have been selling them for years," she smiled. It's not unusual to see one of the birds flying about the store if it has been released from its cage.
And if you can't find the size cage you want, she can order it for you and have it here within the week.
Next to the collection of birds are all types of supplies, including bird seeds and food for the winged pets.
Vicki came up with their logo for the store, which is painted on the front and is on their frequent buyer cards. The logo shows small animal paw prints.
Vicki's Petz 'n More is the only place in Lehigh where you can buy tropical fish and the Culvers have raised both tropical fish and goldfish at their home. Outside at home they have their own pond filled with fish.
Their prices are more than fair and if they don't have the freshwater fish you want, they can order them for you and have them in the store in less than a week.
For the tropical fish enthusiast, there are 10-gallon starter aquariums and pumps and fish foods and other items for an aquarium. If you want a larger one, tell them and they'll have it ready for you in days.
Presently they do not carry saltwater fish, but like any other item in the store, they can order saltwater fish from their supplier and they can be in the store within a few days.
The Culvers specialize in dog and cat foods and carry large size bags. They carry Natural Balance, a well-known food for dogs that is a healthy and scientifically proven diet with all natural grains. They come in sizes as large as 50-pound bags.
During their official grand opening coming up in November, when they plan to have a ribbon cutting hosted by the Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce, you can enter a coupon in a big box on the counter to win a year of free dog food.
"We have lots of specials on our bunnies, hamsters and pretty little mice and pet rats," Vicki said.
Visitors to the store can pet some of the animals like the bunnies and the guinea pigs.
For parents who want to start their children off with a small aquarium, Vicki said they have 10-gallon aquariums with filters ready to go for $19.99.
All you have to do is fill it with water, landscape the inside, and put in the fish. They also offer test kids for the water quality and items to remove chlorine.
"We have been open already for a short time and people are noticing us and are coming into see what we have," Vicki said.
As the business grows, the Culvers plan expansion for pet grooming, which will be in the warehouse, which is part of the present store.
"We're looking for a good pet groomer. There may be someone out there who does it for themselves they could join us if they are good and we can bring in lots of business for them," Vicki said.
Vicki's Petz 'n More store is open six days a week, from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They are closed on Sundays.
If you have questions about anything to do with what they offer, you can call them at 368-6000.
There is plenty of parking in front of the store and additional parking next door at their Gifts For The Holidays gift shop.
As business continues to grow, they plan to offer more items from different vendors.
"We're going to provide what the public wants," Vicki said.
Hanging on the walls of the pet store are some of the gift items from next door where most visitors may want to go to when they leave the pet store.
The official grand opening will be a week-long celebration from Nov. 1 to 6.