Small Business Profile: Furry Friends Served By Pet Pangaea

Cyndi Wells behind the counter at Pet Pangaea. Photo by Chris Clark/ladailypost.com
 
By KIRSTEN LASKEY
Los Alamos Daily Post

When Cyndi Wells first arrived in Los Alamos in 2000, she pursued a career at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

She explained she chose to move from Austin, Texas to Los Alamos because, “Los Alamos intrigued me. I grew up in the Midwest and always loved the beauty of New Mexico. As an undergraduate, I double majored in chemistry and Japanese; I thrive on challenge. My mother is from Germany and became a naturalized U.S. citizen. She instilled a deep love for this country in me. So, the difficult scientific problems that were being tackled at LANL for the government felt like a perfect fit for a career.

“I was also a triathlete and I couldn’t think of a better place to enjoy training. I had also adopted a dog during graduate school. Los Alamos felt like home when I first visited for an interview: I could do interesting science for my country, have a great place to train, and enjoy the outdoors with my dog. So, when the job offer came from LANL, I happily accepted.”

Still, in 2008, Wells’ career took a total transformation. She left being a LANL employee to become a small business owner. Her business, Pet Pangaea LLC, had been open since 2005 but Wells decided three years later to make it her sole occupation.

“I want to thank the community for supporting the store for over 10 years,” Wells said.

She explained she got the idea to open a pet store after the only existing one at the time closed in 2004.

“I thought that the Los Alamos community deserved a place to buy quality supplies at good prices from experts who really love pets. I had a couple of part-time employees at the start and I worked all the nights and weekends at the store. As the store grew busier and my work hours skyrocketed, I had to make a choice. I left the Lab in 2008. The challenges at the Lab are different than those at a small business, but small business has no shortage of big challenges,” Wells said.

Despite whatever challenges appear, Wells said she appreciates the opportunity to serve the community and its pets.

“Having the opportunity to help clients ensure that their pets are healthy, happy, and safe is truly a privilege. And, we respect this responsibility because pets are family members: we work hard to bring in the best products available in the pet industry and are always learning,” she said.

She welcomes anyone with pet-related questions to come by the store.

“Do you have any pet supplies-related questions? Visit us! We are part of the community and happy to help. Our Pet Specialists get three-four months of full-time training before they even step on the  store floor, learning about a wide range of topics from deciphering pet food labels to pet nutrition to horse anatomy to proper aquarium maintenance,” Well said.

Wells’ team consists of three full-time employees and one part-time employee. The store also has four adopted turtles and an adopted Discus fish that, Wells said, supervise.

More staff members are needed, Wells said; five full time employees are needed. Information and the on-line application is available at www.petpangaea.com.

Pet Pangaea LLC is at 158 Central Park Square. The store is open 9 a.m to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The store can be reached at 505.661.1010.

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