Best Pet Store - 2005
Wild Cargo Pets & Supplies
Ron Dupont doesn't want to be known as the roach guy, but these days, he just can't help it. Dupont says his is the only pet store he knows of selling roaches -- live roaches -- something desperately needed for owners of most reptiles. And what's worse, Dupont's roaches are notoriously tasty. "We call them 'tropical cream-filled roaches' because they're so juicy," he says. Dupont sells thousands of the little buggers every week at 8 to 39 cents apiece, and soon, he fears, he'll likely be known for them. Really, he'd rather be known for his reptiles. Dupont's been in the reptile business since he started catching snakes at 15 years old in his back yard and selling them to pet stores. Now at 63, he imports reptiles from around the world at his shop, Wild Cargo Pets & Supplies. He sells about 2,700 lizards a year. Usually, boa constrictors start from $119 to $149, and monitor lizards can be found for at least $40. Dupont will also special-order, like yellow phase tree pythons that run about $700. Dupont also sells tarantulas ($20 to $150 for rare ones) and an odd assortment of reptile food, including bloodworms, mealworms, and crickets. But more than anything, Dupont can't keep the roaches in the store. "People will come back and say, 'Man those roaches are juicy.' They can't get enough of them."