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Heard on the Street: Longtime Med City pet shop to close

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Greg and Deb Goodnow are looking for new homes for a lot of exotic fish (including piranha), bearded dragons, iguanas, guinea pigs and a rabbit.
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Retirement doesn't always mean going fishing.

For one Rochester couple, retiring means walking away from fish.

Since they opened Fish & Petsin 1989, Greg and Deb Goodnowhave been taking care of fish and various pet "livestock" every day, including holidays and snow days. More than 150 fish tanks require a lot of care.

"Now it's time for us to retire. It was a really difficult decision," said Greg Goodnow, 62. "We went to a workshop about retiring and they said the first years of retirement are the 'go-go' years, when people go on cruises, go camping or whatever. We're ready to start our 'go-go' years."

They expect to soon start selling off the fish, animals, tanks and supplies in the 11,137-square-foot store at 1201 S. Broadway in the Crossroads Shopping Center. The family-owned business has eight employees.

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The plan is to close by the end of February, though they would entertain last-minute offers of buying the store.

That means new homes will be needed for a lot of exotic fish (including piranha), bearded dragons, iguanas, guinea pigs and a rabbit. The store also carries a wide selection of food and supplies for all kinds of pets, including dogs and cats.

Fish & Pets opened in the former Famous Footwearspace in Crossroads in 2002. The original store was located in the River Center, then called Northbrook Shopping Center, on North Broadway. They also had a spin-off store, Fish & Pets Aquatics shop, in the Barlow Plaza Shopping Centerfor a short run in 2009-2010.

"This has been a great location. The landlords are really good," he said.

Facing competition from Big Box chain stores and online shops has kept the Goodnows on their toes. However, Greg Goodnow says the business is strong and profitable. They are just ready to move on to the next stage of life.

"But it's tough. We take enormous pride in what we do," he said. "There's nothing like seeing the joys on a kid's face when they get their first pet."

Another perk of the business, Goodnow said, is seeing Mayo Clinicvisitors come in every day to look at the fish and animals for some "mental therapy."

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Greg and Deb Goodnow, owners of Fish & Pets since 1989, are retiring and selling off the business.

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