Craig’s Jungle celebrates a dozen years of business | CraigDailyPress.com
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Craig’s Jungle celebrates a dozen years of business

Fish swim in an aquarium at The Jungle Pet Shop in Downtown Craig on the shop's 12th anniversary Friday, May 4.
Amber Delay / Craig Press

On Friday, March 4th, during the busiest season of the year, The Jungle celebrated 12 years of being the go-to pet store in Craig that offers so much more.

Clint Gabbert, the founder of The Jungle, said that spring is a busier time even than the holidays for the store. Since winter is nearly over, people start wanting more indoor plants to make their houses more green and alive. It’s also a good time of year to start or replenish their freshwater aquarium with fish and living plants.

The Jungle has been open for 12 years, and has been in its current location at 29 W. Victory Way in Craig for nine years. Moving to the new location was a turning point for The Jungle to become really successful and quirky, Gabbert said. With the larger space and more possibilities, Gabbert started to expand on freshwater aquariums, reptiles and plants.



“When we first moved into this space, I felt like we would never fill it,” Gabbert said.

Now the retail space is filled from wall to wall with aquariums, fish, and plants. There are aquariums on display with micro shrimp and micro fish, showing what is possible to build inside an aquarium environment.



A customer walks through The Jungle Pet Shop in Downtown Craig on the shop's 12th anniversary Friday, May 4.
Amber Delay / Craig Press
Clint Gabbert, owner of The Jungle Pet Shop, poses for a photo in the store in Downtown Craig on the shop's 12th anniversary Friday, May 4.
Amber Delay / Craig Press
Fish swim in an aquarium at The Jungle Pet Shop in Downtown Craig on the shop's 12th anniversary Friday, May 4.
Amber Delay / Craig Press
An aquarium at The Jungle Pet Shop in Downtown Craig on the shop's 12th anniversary Friday, May 4.
Amber Delay / Craig Press
One of the many plants at The Jungle Pet Shop in Downtown Craig on the shop's 12th anniversary Friday, May 4.
Amber Delay / Craig Press
Clint Gabbert, center, shows customers some wares at The Jungle Pet Shop in Downtown Craig on the shop's 12th anniversary Friday, May 4.
Amber Delay / Craig Press
Customers check out the product at The Jungle Pet Shop in Downtown Craig on the shop's 12th anniversary Friday, May 4.
Amber Delay / Craig Press

The store’s focus on nature aquariums with freshwater fish and live plants has been embraced by the community and store supporters. Gabbert said the nature aquariums were a logical focus, because plants and fish go hand in hand.

For Gabbert, this endeavor of bringing aquatic pets and plants to Craig is a true passion. The store carries only the healthiest and highest-quality pets and plants available. Every two to three weeks, new fish are flown into Denver directly from suppliers. Gabbert travels to Denver to pick up the fish and to handpick the best plants from the nursery.

“I have been obsessed with plants as soon as I could say the word ‘plant,’” Gabbert said.

It is clear from the vibrancy of the plants and aquariums that a lot of attention and skill goes into caring for the inventory before it finds a new home. Gabbert gives detailed care instructions before a customer walks out the door with a new plant or pet, and on a typical day at the store, he can be found talking with customers to help troubleshoot care for their plants or aquariums.

With the uniquely selected inventory and an active social media presence, The Jungle even attracts customers from Grand Junction and Rock Springs, Wyo., and has had visitors from the front range who just come to Craig to see the store.

The store is run by Gabbert, his mother, and three part-time employees. One of their regular customers even came in before the anniversary party to help organize the inventory to prepare for the gathering, he said.

“This is really a lot of fun, and we are really grateful for all of the support from the community,” Gabbert said.

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