Purrfect reason to pop along to the St Ives Food & Wine Festival

A way with animals: Edwina Hall with her Caboodle Baci and her mum, Pet Connection owner Karynne Courts with Wednesday the carpet python, a regular client of the shop.
A way with animals: Edwina Hall with her Caboodle Baci and her mum, Pet Connection owner Karynne Courts with Wednesday the carpet python, a regular client of the shop.

What started as a Saturday pet shop job for Edwina Hall ended up with her family owning the store.

At the Pet Connection in St Ives Village it’s now Edwina’s mum Karynne Courts who runs the shop, one of the 30 stalls at the St Ives Food and Wine Festival on the Village Green on Sunday 9 September. The pet team will be selling pet treats and animal accessories – and offering pet advice.

But the shop celebrates 25 years as a pet go-to destination.

“In 1993, St Ives Purr-fect Pets opened as a place to go for people needing advice and information about their pets,” explains new owner Karynne Courts. “In 2007 my daughter Edwina started there as a junior, going to TAFE where she received Certs in Animal Studies as well as a Certificate III in Captive Animals from the Taronga Zoo Training Institute.”

It’s perhaps no surprise then, that Karynne bought the business in 2017, renaming it The Pet Connection. Along with staff, many of whom have worked in the business for more than five years, they continue to build on strong foundations and are excited about continuing the next 25 years as The Pet Connection.

Over the years the shop has seen just about everything in the pet space – from pythons and geese, to scorpions and rare peacock spiders.

“We’re passionate about the store and its role in the community. Our animals come from breeders whom we know and trust and we’ve recently employed a professional animal handler who trained customs and police sniffer dogs. She will be leading our canine scent enrichment classes for dogs in October where dogs can learn how to differentiate between scents.”

Other stalls at the St Ives Rotary Food and Wine Festival include 30 food stalls, 30 creative craft stalls, 20 leading Australian wineries, two distilleries and a boutique beer garden. Complete the fun day out with family entertainment, an animal farm, face painting, rock climbing, pony rides and a jumping castle.

Full details of the event are available on the festival website www. stivesfoodandwine.com. There’s also an online raffle – buying tickets gives means you can help Rotary projects and charitable organisations and the potential to win one of 10 prizes: https://www.rafflelink.com.au/stivesrotaryfest

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