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Owosso online pet store sees surge in sales, announces expansion

(WJRT)
Published: Jun. 24, 2020 at 4:34 PM EDT
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(06/24/2020) -- Aquariums, terrariums, lizards, frogs and more. It is a reptile lovers dream come true inside Josh's Frogs near downtown Owosso. It's strictly an online business and one that is booming, according to owner Josh Willard.

"We've always grown anywhere between 25 and 45 percent year over year, and we exploded this year and way faster than we expected to grow," Willard said.

Willard attributed that growth to the pandemic, believe it or not.

"People spent more time at home, they wanted a couple more house plants or maybe some pets for their living space," he said.

So as the demand went up, space inside his four story building went down, which is why he's in the process of acquiring the former Owosso Wesleyan Church on Washington Street.

"I feel like some of the stuff that we've done over the last 15 years has really paid off and how we were able to support our customers through being able to ship and take care of our customers through customer service and kind of flex with that growth."

That growth is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, reptilian and plant lovers should polish up those resumes.

"Shipping to taking care of animals, to taking care of bugs to taking care of plants, we're hiring in a lot of different areas."

It is some well welcome news for Justin Horvath, President and CEO Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership.

"The unique thing is they sell those products all over the world and bring money right back into our community, so it's a huge economic benefit to the area," Horvath said.

Despite the expansion, there are no plans for Josh's Frogs to enter the retail sector.

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