Courtenay Pet Centre overcomes challenges to celebrate five years

When Karen Eastland opened Courtenay Pet Centre in 2008, she knew it would be a challenge.

Karen Eastland

Five years in business is a milestone for anyone. But when you start out as a first-time business owner competing with big-box corporations, and then receive a life-altering medical diagnosis a couple of years in, it truly is an accomplishment worth celebrating.

When Karen Eastland opened Courtenay Pet Centre in 2008, she knew it would be a challenge. But she was confident that her professional background and love of animals would stand her in good stead.

“I’d worked at a pet store in Campbell River for five years,” said Eastland, who owns the shop with husband Dale Mattson. “We thought the people of Courtenay would be supportive of a smaller place that could focus on their needs and have less of a corporate feel. Looking back, it was a pretty brave move on our part.”

With a focus on fish, birds, reptiles and other small critters, the shop immediately grabbed a share of the local market. Wal-Mart closed down its pet section, which helped. Then the eventual closure of Petland brought even more traffic, which allowed Eastland to add a staff member. This became particularly important when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2011.

“When I first got sick, I was always tired and sometimes would have to lie down in the back of the store,” she said. “I thought I was getting burnt out, but one day I woke up and my legs were numb. It was difficult at first, and I relied on my mom, husband and staff to help out. I couldn’t have done it, and I still couldn’t do it, without them.”

Courtenay Pet Centre is at 4-2760 Cliffe Ave.

Just Posted

Two Courtenay Habitat for Humanity families receive keys to new homes

Lake Trail Road project officially has residents

Preparations ongoing for Courtenay’s annual Earl Naswell Community Christmas Dinner

The doors of the Florence Filberg Centre, downtown Courtenay, will open again… Continue reading

Valley woman found guilty on three charges following 2016 collision in Courtenay

The woman involved in a trial for a multi-vehicle collision in which… Continue reading

High winds force several BC Ferries sailing cancellations

Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay, and Duke Point to Tsawwassen among closures

Swiss juniors train in Comox Valley

The Swiss national junior hockey team is training at the Comox Valley… Continue reading

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

‘I practically begged’: Kootenay woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Most Read