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Paradise Coral is open :)


MrBret
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Hello fellow PNWMAS forum members and friends, I thought i would share my story on how Paradise Coral came to be. As many of you know i am a coral addict ( zoanthids top my list by far ) and have been collecting, hoarding and propagating zoanthids and other corals for many years. Over the years as i travel around and do sales estimates i always look at anything for rent and say, "This would make a nice spot for a reef shop," but always just a fantasy and always just out of reach for whatever the reason.  Well, i have been saying and repeating that pattern for over 10 years at least. 

This last December my wife and I were trying to buy our girls teddy bears to go with the Giant ones we got them at costco. We went to old downtown Hillsboro as they have a cool toy store there. It was closed so we were out-of-luck on the extra teddy bears and started walking down the street. As we're about to pass the building a few doors down....my wife notices a for rent sign and we stare through the windows for a bit and i have the over 10-year fantasy of opening a reef store to go along with my passion for it.  After looking and talking i start to continue walking down the street and immediately a bird flies into the back of my head. Shocked, i turn around to see the culprit.....and it was my wife, lol.  She slapped me on the back of the head and said " What the hell are you doing.. ??   CALL the Number !!  Hmm, ok fine...I've done this before, the rent will be way to high, or something. So i called and left a message.  Ended up finding out, hmm....i think i could make that work. So we kept going through the hurdles, getting excited....then crushed. Got turned down when i told him what i wanted to do. Older landlord guy, i think when he heard fish tank he pictured an old fresh water place with green tanks, bubblers and dead fish or something, he didn't want to have anything to do with me for a few weeks. Very depressed, life over. Closest i have ever gotten to my never ending dream.   Over the next 2 days my wife won't let up.." Hunny come on, you can't give up, I just feel it, I have never felt it before but you are going to find a way to make this happen. "  So i started perking back up and told myself i will find a way.  Basically started living on the street for 2 weeks and made friends with every other business owner and told them what i was going to do for the street once i get in there and got all of them to help me in ways. Got the landlord personal email and cell phone from 1 of the other businesses  and basically said i would not leave him alone until he met me face too face and gave me the chance to explain my vision. 

After getting that meeting and showing him pictures of my corals and a brief business model he was, "Excited and welcomed the opportunity."  

We had basically decided that we would risk everything, lose the house, go bankrupt if that's what was meant to happen, but we only live once. Sold every toy i own, sold most of my collection, coins, stamps, more coins, maxed every credit card we own and Wow!  A lot of money disappeared and we still don't have things the way we want, but since our door signage had finally been put up and the neon sign my wife designed was finished early figured might as well take the paper off the windows and we will just grow our way to where we want to have the place.  But Hey!   I think we put a pretty good initial offering out and we will only get better with time as we recover from dropping everything we have into this place. 

Let me also say and point out that none of this would be possible without my lovely wife Naomi. We both have been putting our everything into this, but particular credit goes too her for doing our website front to back, my contribution was the pictures. The sea horse neon sign is her handy work, the name Paradise Coral was her come up with, the graphic work that was done and designed on our logo, the door signs, the colors on the walls, most things in the place that make you go..."Wow...that's cool. Where did you get those?!?"  

I'll start doing some other post and show what we have here and tell more about what we carry and plan to carry.  Hopefully we will see some of you out this way in the future and for the couple of people that came out too visit this past weekend.....Thank you very much! It made for a fun first day.

Any questions or curious about anything out here just shout. I'm excited to share my passion for the reefing hobby and will be working to give you a fun and exciting store to come visit and relax in :)

 

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43 minutes ago, caolewis said:

Congrat.  When is it open, Bret?

Didn't you see the name of the thread?!?

Im open now!    Just placed my first official live stock order, and its fancy mushroom heavy :) Some red and blue gonipora and a few other things.

Shows up tomorrow, ill post some pics tomorrow.

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Congrats Bret!  It's awesome that your wife has been such an active and supportive partner in this.  Seems like a lot of such efforts fail due to not having that kind of support at home so it sounds like you are already ahead of the curve on that front.  Starting a new business has to be incredibly stressful as well as exciting - great you have someone sharing the excitement.  I have to say I really like the work she has done re signage, logo, etc. so not only supportive but obviously talented (might want to keep on her good side)!  Looking forward to making it over there (I'm an eastsider) to check it out soon - maybe save the blue goni for me :)  Good luck!

Edited by albertareef
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6 minutes ago, MrBret said:

Didn't you see the name of the thread?!?

Im open now!    Just placed my first official live stock order, and its fancy mushroom heavy :) Some red and blue gonipora and a few other things.

Shows up tomorrow, ill post some pics tomorrow.

Ooh, we might have to swing by Hillsboro on Saturday!

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Oh man dont get me started on Jellyfish, lol. Yes we are the only store in Oregon with live jellyfish on display and jellyfish systems. So cool, i have to pry my sekf away at the end of the night, light are out, and the jellyfish tanks stay on. Just mesmerizing.  We carry 3 different sized jellyfish tanks. A 5 gallon circle that will fit on your desk at home ir work and impress, up to their 45 gallon flag ship that will house around a 100 jellies ( depending on size )    If requested, we could post interesting pics we take of the jellies.

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2 hours ago, Emerald525 said:

I truly am amazed how much the other fish stores are willing to help each other out! Offering up your connections is very awesome of you Garrett!

I was with Bret when Jeff was offering to help with plumbing.

:clap:

I couldn't agree more Kim. It really does almost feel like joining an exclusive club. A club of good friends!  It no secret that i have been pretty good friends for years with Jeff, Garrett, Travis, Matt V and of course the Godfather of Coral.....Rudy.  The west west side of town here has felt like it needed a reef store ever since Tim at West Side closed doors. 

I think the Portland metro area is now set to be a reefers mecha !! If it wasn't already before.  Everyone is going to have something different than the other. I think we all have a little bit different focus. I like many corals, but my focus will be on zoanthids and softies, mushroom, yummas, ricordias.   I feel comfortable saying that the above mentioned individuals and my self are all busting are butts to find, pick, snipe out the best corals we can find to offer up to everyone.  

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6 hours ago, ThePremiumAquarium said:

Bret,

This is awesome! I had heard through the grape vine that you were working on a store. Very happy to hear that it all came to frutation! Let me know if I can help in any way. I have a lot of business connections that could be of use :)

Excited to make the trip up and visit!

Thanks Garrett. If you come up to visit your going to have lunch as well. My treat at Syun Izakaya.

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