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It’s a jungle in there

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The Hayes family has been living in a zoo for as long as they can remember, and now, with the help of an inheritance from Grandpa, they’re finally able to turn their animal park into an enterprising pet store. Being the animal enthusiasts that they are, it wasn’t long after they’d moved from Hermosa Beach to Grover Beach that the Hayes family had staked out every pet shop in the Five Cities area. Then, one morning, Joyce Hayes flipped open the newspaper and saw that the Oceans Below pet shop at Oak Park and Grand Avenue was for sale.

“This is what we’ve been doing all our lives,� she thought.

Joyce and Michael Hayes moved up to the Central Coast about two years ago to help care for Joyce’s ailing parents, and when they passed away last year, the couple and their four sons were left with a healthy inheritance. Rather than blow the money on fast cars and cheap women, Mr. and Mrs. Hayes convinced their boys — three out of four of them anyway — to pitch in together to buy the pet store and make it a “family affair,� Joyce said.

Joyce’s oldest son and Michael’s stepson, Jason Grant, has been hanging out in pet stores for his entire life, his mother recalled. “From the time he was 4 years old, I started collecting bugs with him.� They studied the critters together, and soon Jason was a “little walking encyclopedia.�

Twenty years later, Jason’s dream is coming true. His family is purchasing Oceans Below, which specialized in fish and aquariums, and is renaming and relocating the business to Jungles Above Oceans Below in the Grover City Shopping Center in the 1500 block of Grand Avenue in Grover Beach.

The new owners have big plans to add a whole range of snakes, scorpions, and reptiles, as well as a learning center with instructional books and videos so their customers will understand how to care for their exotic new pets — some of which run as much $10,000. Terri Hampton-Pouguness, a close family friend, is revamping the new location, formerly a 99-cent discount store, with a 360-degree mural of oceans and jungles, and the family hopes to have the doors open by March 1.

In the meantime, the Hayeses are happy to meet all your animal needs, and Jason even makes house calls. They can be reached at 489-3474 or 473-2099.

FAST FACTS

It truly is a jungle out there, and once in a while you deserve a chance to relax. That’s why Joan Palma, CMT has been offering massage therapy in San Luis Obispo for the past 12 months. Celebrating her first anniversary of doing massage in SLO, Palma is holding a customer appreciation drawing at the end of next month. Anyone booking a massage in the month of February will qualify to win one of seven soothing prizes, including gift certificates for massage treatment, beauty products, and Big Sky Café. For more info or to make an appointment, call Joan Palma at 709-2045. …

… In conjunction with National Children’s Dental Access Day, Dr. Alan J. Spano, DDS is inviting children ages 3 to 18 from low-income families to come in on Friday, Feb. 4 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. for a “no cost visit.� Qualifying patients should walk into Dr. Spanos’ office at 862 Meinecke Ave. in SLO that day to sign up for treatment, which will be given on a first-come first-serve basis. The day of free dental work is a nationwide, nonprofit event to promote better access to dental care for needy children. To learn more, contact Dr. Spanos’ office at 544-1246. …

… Pigs Can Fly Aviation, LLC is holding an open house on Jan. 29 to celebrate the grand opening of the company’s new facility at SLO County Regional Airport. The open house will include a display and demonstration of a brand new Cessna 182 with a state-of-the-art Garmin 1000 glass cockpit instrument panel. PCF Aviation is the largest flight school and aircraft rental operation between Camarillo and San Jose. For more info, call Pigs Can Fly at 783-2359. …

… After two solid years of business in the South County, Beach House Unfinished Furniture & Design of Grover Beach is proud to announce the opening of a second location at 111 South St. in San Luis Obispo. Bigger than its predecessor at 983 West Grand Ave., the new location opened in December and features an even greater selection of natural wood and custom-designed furniture by local manufacturers. To see what the Beach House can do for your home, call them at 544-6300, or visit either of their stores.

Staff Writer Jeff Hornaday compiled this week’s Strokes & Plugs. E-mail him at jhornaday@newtimesslo.com.

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