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

Affordable rental housing complex opens in Courtenay

The Braidwood facility will house 34 people at risk of homelessness

Applications open for record bursary, scholarship funding at North Island College

Current and future North Island College students can now apply for scholarships… Continue reading

Second Stage Players present laughter and love in We Are Family

Get your tickets early to see the Evergreen Club’s Second Stage Players’… Continue reading

Open house opens access for those suffering from vision loss

Pat Chicquen understands how isolating losing vision can be, which is why… Continue reading

Valley SPCA overwhelmed with 45 cats taken from local property

Many of the cats have never been around humans, or have never been touched or handled.

Affordable rental housing complex opens in Courtenay

The Braidwood facility will house 34 people at risk of homelessness

Comox Valley Hospice Society finds new Ocean Front home

Comox Valley Hospice Society (CVHS) recently announced plans to construct a new… Continue reading

Baby left alone in vehicle in Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

Nowhere to grieve: How homeless people deal with loss during the opioid crisis

Abbotsford homeless advocate says grief has distinct challenges for those living on the streets

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher rates, private insurers say

B.C. public insurance includes funding enforcement, driver licensing

B.C., feds accused of ‘environmental racism’ over Site C, Mount Polley

Amnesty International Canada says governments failed to recognize threats to Indigenous peoples

New Leger polls suggests federal Liberals lagging Conservatives

Overall, 31 per cent of respondents polled said they would vote for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals

Most Read