From the moment you enter Hoffer’s Tropic Life Pet Center, you’ll sense the very big difference from any other “Pet Shop” or “Fish Store” you’ve visited. We are not your average pet shop. Tropic Life started as Hoffer’s Tropical Fish in 1972 as a part-time hobbyist business in a small 600 sq. ft. store front on Center Street run by Mike and his mom Anne with about 25 display aquaria’s. Tropic Life Pets is the second largest independently owned pet center the United States. The new free standing store has over 34,000 sq. ft. of space. It was designed and built in 2001 from the ground up as one of the most unique pet centers anywhere on earth. That’s not just in appearance, but in attitude as well.
We are staffed by over 25 pet and aquatic consultants. Many of our dedicated people are members of organizations like Milwaukee Aquarium Society, World Wide Pet Industry Association (WWPIA), Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), Retailers Advisory Council, Wisconsin Reef Society, Teacher S 1 Pet and more. We at Hoffer’s Tropic Life Pets also believe in supporting many of the local animal rescue groups.
All of us at Hoffer’s enjoy helping out with the continuing education of others through one of our daily School Tours with Kari or a Saturday Birthday Party with Kim. We also offer our famous one on one customer service, every day of the week. Our FREE in-store talks are all given in our classroom several evenings each week on such varied subjects as live aquarium plants, starting a new saltwater aquarium, creating an outdoor water garden, small animal or bird care and dog training basics. These talks are open to everyone, and are especially good for scout groups looking to obtain merit badges. We also welcome any new topic ideas from all of you.
Much of our commitment to our customers is to stay on top of new developments. By attending trade shows and manufacturers’ work shops to further our knowledge, we are then able to pass this information on to everyone who enters our store. Factory Rep Days are special events, usually held on the weekends, that allow you to meet with the factory product representative and obtain more in-depth knowledge and special discounts.
As you step into the tropical atmosphere at Hoffer’s Tropic Life Pets you will be greeted by the first of our water ponds, and a 260 foot hand painted mural that winds throughout the brightly lit store. On well stocked clean shelves you’ll find just about any item your pet needs. Let’s look at some of those special departments within the store and the people, Cesie and Kathy that staff them.
Kittens, Ferrets and Small Cage Birds can be found along the south wall of the store, each in their own rooms. All of our kittens are vet checked and held for at least one week before they find a suitable home. The products needed for their health and happiness can be found conveniently nearby. Several of our staff members, Brian, Teresa, and Jim are experts in making your selection a pleasant one. We are familiar with bird health and training from Ken, with well over 30 years of experience in the Pet Industry. Kari will point out the do’s and don’ts for every new kitten and ferret owner. Close attention is given to helping you select a new pet, just as carefully as we select our own stock of animals that we sell. Our small animal department has over 80 individual enclosures that are maintained by April, and Tina to the highest standards. The back room houses over 100 more cages for our in-house breeding facility of rats, mice and our colony of Sugar Gliders.
The Reptile Department by itself is larger than the average American Pet shop. There are over 160 individual habitats displaying turtles, lizards, snakes and tarantulas from around the world, all done in the high quality museum and zoo method. Two 12 foot diameter reptile pits can be found outside the department for housing the alligators and turtles, a very popular attraction at Hoffer’s Tropic Life Pets. We are proud of our captive-bred reptile selection, and just one look at our robust animals and clean conditions will have you convinced that we are the leaders when it comes to “Herps”.
Hoffer’s Tropic Life has departments for your Dog and Cat needs. In fact almost half of the store is devoted to aisles of premium pet foods, toys, chew treats, beds, cat trees and training aids. That only begins to scratch the surface of the extensive inventory. We have a Do-it-yourself pet wash area. Although we do not sell puppies, we do provide dog training classes. To enroll see Ken. We have a rather extensive book section; actually, it’s a Library with seating in the center of the store.
Now lets step into the Fish Room. Two entrances treat you to museum type displays of pet and aquatic products from the past. Many large display aquariums, a huge Koi Pond and a Saltwater Tide Pool with sharks are set amidst 350 picture perfect aquariums. Most are planted with live plants in the tradition of fine aquarium keeping. You will also be treated to a rain wall and a re-creation of the ruins of Angkor surrounding the Fish Room. Over 100 combined years of expertise can be found in the Fish Room. Our resident Aquatic Biologist, Joe, can help solve any fish health questions. We eager to help you with filtration and other environmental issues. Even if you do not own an aquarium, we strongly suggest you and your family visit us; you’ll enjoy the relaxing atmosphere.
All of us at Hoffer’s Tropic Life Pets are very proud of Wisconsin’s most unique pet center. Above all, we are always ready to give you the service and advice you seek.