Henley Pet Shop celebrated 40 years in business last weekend, holding a birthday party at the shop on Saturday afternoon. Owners Tim and Alex Richardson are both thrilled to have reached such a milestone, and marked the occasion with cake and bubbly (and, of course, dog biscuits for their favourite customers!)
Henley Pet Shop is one of Henley’s longest standing independent retailers, having first launched in 1981. Bill Richardson, with the help of his son Tim, opened Henley Pet Shop at 69 Bell Street — premises previously occupied by Thora Hart, a hair salon. Neither of the father and son duo could have imagined that the business would still be trading, in the same location, four decades later. Tim took sole control of the business in 1991 following the death of his father, and has been a source of sage wisdom for generations of pet owners ever since. With his 40 years of experience, there’s little that Tim doesn’t know about pets.
Henley’s high street looked very different 40 years ago, and Henley Pet Shop has managed to outlive most of the shops that were open at the time (Woolworths, Farrago, The Wendy House and Ashworths to name but a few). There were also 13 more pubs than there are now, 2 more hospitals, and tea rooms instead of Henley’s many coffee shops.
By reaching its 40 year anniversary, Henley Pet Shop joins an elite group of independent shops that have been trading for four decades or more, including the Bell Bookshop, Franco Belge, Facy and Bagatelle Toys. Tim said, “It’s a good achievement; it’s brilliant. It’s a family business really, and it’s a bit of a landmark. We’re very proud.”
Alex Richardson, who runs the shop with her husband, Tim, said, “Henley Pet Shop has been through good and tough times, several recessions, and the most recent covid related issues but it is still here and ready to embrace the future. That is all thanks to the wonderful people of Henley, the loyal and valued customers that realise the importance of supporting a true independent business, and the fact that unique and individual shops are what make a town more attractive than finding the same old multinationals in every town centre.”
Alex and Tim look forward to welcoming new and familiar faces to their shop for many more years to come, and invite shoppers to visit their resident cockatoo, Naigo, who has called Henley Pet Shop his home since day one!