A NEW reptile pet store is set to open its doors on Main Street in Crossgates today (Tuesday).

Grabbit Exotics, owned by Natalie Parrett, 36, and manager Megan Tawse, 28, have been working hard to have the shop ready for customers.

The pair have been trying to expand their business and move forward since last year but struggled to get their last property up and running due to Covid and constant renovation delays.

Megan told the Times: “With the other property, we kept saying ‘we’re going to open’ and then something would happen.

“As soon as we announced that it was going to open, somebody tested positive for Covid, or something happened with electrics.”

But after a tough year, the shop has moved locations and the renovation is well underway.

It will be a welcome addition to the area for those with unconventional pets, the owners said.

Megan commented: “There’s not really much for people that own reptiles and invertebrates, and you don’t realise it’s actually a massive community.

“So, we decided to go on this adventure.”

Having previously travelled as far as Corstorphine in Edinburgh, store owner Natalie knew how important it was to have a place closer to home for exotic animal lovers.

Equipped with a quarantine and a hospital area with plans in the works to deliver education on the often misunderstood reptiles and invertebrates, Grabbit Exotics Ldt. is really focusing on providing a haven for these pet owners.

Megan said: “It’s a lot of care. It’s a lot of research.

“All the invertebrates we’ll be selling I’ve made proper care sheets for their heat requirements, humidity requirements, are they communal?

“On the bottom of all the care sheets, I’ve made sure to put our contact number, in case there’s something somebody wants to know.

“I don’t know everything, but if I can stop somebody making a stupid mistake, I’d rather do that.”

With a focus on responsible, ethical sale of these animals and insects, Grabbit Exotics are committed to supporting ethical breeders and ensuring that any of the pets they sell are heading off to good homes.