4 Questions: Myrtle Pets

A quick conversation with Bed-Stuy's local merchants

Jerry Nurse, store manager of Myrtle Pets, 642 Myrtle Avenue, between Kent and Franklin avenues

Open 15 years

Four Questions:

#1. What do you sell?

A: A myriad of pets and pet supplies including talking parrots, cats, small dogs, rainbow fish, amongst others. Myrtle sells organic pet food and pet toys, as well as provides animal grooming services.

#2. What encouraged you to get into the pet business?

A: I always had animals, dogs, pigeons, horses: I had a horse stable in Prospect Park. But I'm getting out of the selling pets so much. I might keep birds, but I'm thinking of getting out of selling animals, because every time you look around there's a different rule. Now snakes are outlawed, iguanas are outlawed in the state of New York; turtles have to be a certain size. It's getting harder and harder to keep animals.

#3. What's your favorite animal

A: I like dogs. I have a Rottweiler named Jake.

#4. What's it like being a merchant in Bed-Stuy?

A: I guess it's like being a merchant any place else... I feel there's ups and downs, but more ups than down. I've never had any problems in this area. Everything is basically what you make it. The rent is affordable here. Certain customers come in here for certain things. The Hasidics like birds and a lot of fish. Like I may have a Jewish school come in and purchase 100 gold fish at a time. Myrtle Avenue wasn't always the best, but it's gotten a lot better. I've been in this area when there was a trolley car still running down Myrtle Avenue like San Francisco. When we were kids we used to jump on the back of the trolley car and pull the wires out the back. The driver would have to stop the car and re-connect it. I've been around here a long time and seen a lot of changes, but mostly for the good.


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