Closing pet store's doors

Nearly eight years ago, B.J. Stevens and Barry Miller opened up a pet store in a room not much larger than a fish tank -- at least that's where all of there fish tanks are now.

Today that store, Baker Drive Pets Inc. at 2218 Baker Drive, spans more than 1,200 square feet; however, the store is closing its doors this winter.

Stevens, store co-owner and manager, is stepping down from managing the store and looking to sell it because of a degenerative spine disease.

"I just can't stand up this many hours," Stevens said. "My health doesn't allow me to anymore."

Stevens said he would like to see the business stay open for the sake of Craig pet owners.

"I don't want to leave people high and dry," he said. "That's the worst part. There's all these people with animals I feel like I'm letting them down."

Stevens said three couples are looking to buy the business, but if the sale doesn't go through by the end of the year, he'll shut the doors regardless.

Everything in the store will be on sale for 40 percent off until the store is sold or closes.

For those interested in owning the business, Stevens said he would stick around to help new owners through the transition.

"I would definitely like to see the store stay open," he said.

In the mean time, Clint Gabbert, an employee at Baker Drive Pets, is opening up a delivery business out of his home for hungry pets. Gabbert will deliver feeder goldfish and crickets. Gabbert can be reached at soilhead13@aol.com or 826-4004.

But this doesn't mark the end for Stevens' business enterprises. He's going back to his roots to manage an online Omega One Fish Food store.

"This will enable me to still be functioning and still have a job, even I can't work like I used to," he said.

Stevens said he has experience working on the Web back when "people didn't even know that the Internet was the Internet," when he worked for the Department of Defense.

"I just can't tell people how much the way I've been treated in Craig means to me. It's been wonderful," he said. "It's been an emotional week around here."

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