The staff at LLLReptile is ready to assist customers every step of the way.
Loren Leigh works 12-hour-plus days, bouncing between retail stores and his corporate office. By attending about 30 reptile shows a year nationwide, you can bet he’s working most weekends. But Leigh considers himself lucky. The founder and owner of LLLReptile and Supply Company, Leigh has combined his two loves in life: reptiles and business. Leigh opened LLLReptile’s first retail location in 1998 in Oceanside, Calif. A store in Escondido, Calif., followed in 2001, and recently, Leigh opened a new location in Menifee, Calif.
Hundreds of people attended the new store’s grand opening, which featured hourly door prizes, gift bags, stickers and specials throughout the store. Reptile product manufacturers attended the opening to give away products and talk about them, and visitors were able to touch and take pictures with animals throughout the day. Leigh said the turnout at the 1,600-square-foot store was even better than expected.
Located in California’s Inland Empire, the new store already has a fan base — it’s closer to many of LLLReptile’s longtime customers, who previously made the trek to San Diego County to visit LLLReptile’s retail locations. The Menifee store also benefits from the area’s outdoorsy, family friendly, hobby-centric vibe. “It’s just an area where people spend time with hobbies and pets. Reptiles fit this need perfectly,” Leigh said.
Like LLLReptile’s other locations, half of the new store’s stock is animals, and the other half is equipment. It carries hundreds of reptiles and amphibians, from beginner herps to rare species and expensive morphs, as well as arachnids and arthropods.
“We find that our customers usually start with entry level animals, and as they dive more into the hobby and become more experienced, they start to take on more challenging animals,” Leigh said.
By specializing in both animals and equipment, the staff at LLLReptile is ready to assist customers every step of the way. Store employees work with families and individuals to help them decide which pet is best for them, and then they show them how to set up and care for the animal. “There’s a continued relationship with them as they get their food and supplies for their animals, and you get to see their animal grow, them get new animals, maybe breed them, etc. — it is really cool!” Leigh said. This personal interaction is something online-only stores miss, added Leigh, who has been selling reptiles and supplies online through LLLReptile since 1996.
LLLReptile has also built its reputation on selling a wide selection of quality products at competitive prices. The company’s 24 employees test most products (at home or in the stores) before LLLReptile stocks them. In addition to captive-care items, the company sells breeding equipment, books, and even packing and shipping supplies.
But LLLReptile’s true success lies in its employees. “Our staff has really made LLL a success,” Leigh said. “My staff are reptile enthusiasts and love what they do. I think this gets passed on to our customers and they get excited about reptiles and their pets.”
LLLReptile will also add hundreds of new products to its retail stores, including many LLLReptile exclusives, and Leigh and staff plan to attend even more reptile shows. Though he may be busier than ever, Leigh wouldn’t have it any other way: “All I can say in all this is, I love what I do, and I wake up each day refreshed and excited to get started.” REPTILES
LLLReptile and Supply Company
30145 Antelope Rd. Ste. 101 Menifee, CA 92584
609 Mission Ave.; Oceanside, CA 92054
214 E. Grand Ave.; Escondido, CA 92025