Local pet store to close after 42 years in business

MILWAUKEE-- After more than 40 years in Business, Hoffer's Tropic Life Pets is closing its doors.

The owner, Mike Hoffer, decided to retire and close the store that has been a Milwaukee staple for 42 years.

\"I'm 62 now... and the retail economy is going steadily down... it has really hurt our business,\" said Hoffer.

The store is not just a typical pet store. It's the home of 15 rescue tortoises, American Alligators, snakes and other unique species.

The news came as a shock to dedicated employees like Joe Olenik.

\"I think we are all still processing it,\" said Olenik, who's been working at the store for more than 34 years. \"No one is wealthy here in this company with assets, but we are tremendously wealthy in the joy that we get in doing what we do.\"

Loyal customers also reacted sadly with the news on the store's Facebook page.

\"We're really sad... the kids came here since kindergarten,\" said Kristin Kuesel from Whitefish Bay.

Hoffer says although it's difficult to hear the impact his closure will have, he's thankful what he was able to build and the connections he has made.

\"The daily routine of dealing with people... that's what I'm gonna miss the most,\" said Hoffer.

Hoffer does not have a closing date set. He says he has hundreds of animals at the store and that he needs to find a home for them before the store closes.

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