Silver City Serpentarium, Inc. is named after the city in which it began...Meriden, Connecticut. Meriden, was nicknamed the Silver City back in colonial times as it was the hub for silver and pewter goods manufacturing.
Silver City Serpentarium, Inc. was established in March of 1992 in Meriden, Connecticut. I decided to use $500.00 of my income tax return money to purchase animals for sale. Originally, the company was designed as a part-time venture selling and delivering animals to pet shops in Central and Western Connecticut. Our delivery route, however, quickly spread throughout Connecticut as well as Massachusetts and Rhode Island. For the first two years of business, most, if not all, of the company's profits were used for business expansion.
The business soon grew from one 10' x 12' room to two custom built reptile rooms and an office. An employee was hired to help with maintenance and delivery. We began importing reptiles from the Solomon Islands and Ghana (West Africa). Aside from both of us already having full-time jobs, we began running into some problems that we had not anticipated.
Our biggest problem was getting good quality animals. When the company started, we bought most of our stock from a "picker" or "jobber" who hand selected our animals from importers in Florida. This method was very safe, and we always received quality hand-picked animals, however, being wholesalers ourselves it was difficult paying two profits (the "pickers" and the importers) and still be able to compete with other wholesalers. We had to start purchasing directly from the importers in order to compete. We soon realized that we also had serious quality issues when we purchased animals directly from most of the importers. Getting "Quantity Prices" usually meant getting "Quantity Quality", which was marginal at best. Because of this, paying C.O.D. Money Order for shipments worth several thousands of dollars soon became very stressful.
Another problem of being a reptile importer in Connecticut was the climate. Importing into John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City in February should say enough.
In August of 1994 I left my career
as a Mechanical Engineer and moved to
Sarasota, Florida. Now
we are our own "pickers", and we can import year-round into Miami
International Airport, one of the most tropical airports in the United