What started as a single aquarium and a childhood hobby has morphed into one of Mobile’s most successful family-owned businesses.
B&B Pet Stop opened its doors in 1981 initially to focus on exotic fish, which was a passion for Bill Trufant. Since then, Bill and his sisters, Mary and Sally, have grown the business into what it is today.
“What makes B&B special is that we’ve been in Mobile for 35 years, and we’re kind of the hometown, local favorite,” Sally Trufant said. “We do so much with the community because we love Mobile so much.”
The store has donated nearly $200,000 to local charities since 2007 by encouraging customers to round-up to the nearest dollar when they check out. Sally says they’ve seen customers who have visited the store as kids return years later with children of their own.
“We’ve been coming to B&B for a long time,” customer Stacie Taylor said. “I’ve been bringing my kids in since they were little, and they[employees] always help them with all the animals and tell them all about them.”
When the Trufant family first opened the store 35 years ago, they didn’t have to worry about the internet or large franchise corporations, but a lot has changed since then and they credit some of their success to offering a unique experience to their customers.”We offer stuff you can’t get online. We do tons of instore things,” Sally Trufant said. “This weekend we’re doing a reptile show. We do the hamster and gerbil races. We do a “bird-
“We offer stuff you can’t get online. We do tons of instore things,” Sally Trufant said. “This weekend we’re doing a reptile show. We do the hamster and gerbil races. We do a “bird-thday” party for our store bird, ‘Pickles.’ Just fun things where people can bring their animals into the store, things you can’t do sitting at home on the computer.”
This year, the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce is recognizing the Trufants’ hard work as the 2016 Small Business of the Year.
Sally said when she heard their name called at the awards ceremony, she was ecstatic. “Our customers who come through the doors every day validate us being here. But, to get some recognition, I gotta tell you, it’s nice to win.”