February 1, 2017
Well it's been 10 years since we started this little site. Thank you so much for everyone who has made this possible!
Often we are asked how or why we got started - here's our story:
Back around the turn of the century, we owned a small insurance agency selling auto and homeowners insurance. Fun, fun! We loved model rockets, so not wanting to pay retail for cardboard tubes and balsa, we established wholesale accounts with model rocket companies and began selling on Ebay and then our own website: JonRocket.com. Life rolled along - all the rockets we could fly for wholesale, while eeking out a living selling insurance.
One day, while walking through a feed store a bag of spilled catfish food caught my eye - Looked just like Koi Food - "I bet I feed that to my koi and sell the rest! Uh oh - the ingredients suck! Looks like Koi Food, but it's not the same! I bet the local feed mill could make the same thing with better ingredients." Turns out, I was wrong. The local feed mill was not interested, so we went to the big guys - they laughed at us. Said we couldn't compete with the large chain stores, the minimum orders were too big etc..
Finally, we found a medium sized company in Arkansas that agreed to make a small run for us based on the ingredients we required. Got the food, shoved it in the conference room at the insurance office and put it on Ebay. Immediately, the food took off. Over the next couple of years we sold fish food on Ebay, a little insurance and a few rockets. We eventually sold the rocket site to a very nice couple in Florida (they're still operating JonRocket.com - if you need a model rocket, please see them) and expanded the fish food deeper into the insurance office.
In 2007 we rented a storage space, bought a truck and began moving fish food back and forth to the Insurance office. Oh, we also established ArthurAquatics.com and began to thin out sales on Ebay. Then our problem began - The insurance office was beginning to smell very peculiar....insurance sales began to decline, but fish food sales were rocketing (excuse the pun). Also, the big food companies were now suddenly willing to talk to us. Better pricing, better product, but bigger orders! Minimums went from 2 tons to 10 tons. That won't fit in the storage space and I'm too fat to unload it by hand! The only thing to do was to move to a real warehouse. So, we sold the insurance agency (I hated it anyway) bought a forklift, and moved to a warehouse. Side note: we didn't simply drop the company in Arkansas that was willing to work with us - they were bought up by a larger company and focused on dog food. Without that company in Arkansas - particularly a sales rep named Jeff and customers like you who are reading this, I'd be giving an auto insurance quote to a person with 3 tickets and 2 wrecks who will only pay for the first month in order to get their license plates renewed! Fun...fun.
Fast forward to today. We are working out of a 2000 sq ft warehouse, employ 3 people in the spring and summer, and will soon expand to a larger facility we are planning to build on our own property! We have fun. We love our job. Our only problem is arguing over what we're going to listen to on the radio/internet while working. Not a bad problem to have.
Thank you - everyone.
John & Sherri Arthur