Exotic creatures business seeks expansion opportunities

Expanding: Dean Roots, owner of Meet A Creature, introduces 10 year old Josh Blackledge to a bearded dragon during a session in a local school.
Expanding: Dean Roots, owner of Meet A Creature, introduces 10 year old Josh Blackledge to a bearded dragon during a session in a local school.
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ENTREPRENEUR Dean Roots is planning to expand his hands on animals business by turning it into a franchise.

Dean, who lives on the border between South Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire, is the brains behind Meet A Creature, which runs animal handling sessions for schools, organisations and private parties.

“We have always kept pets, but when we realised our son Oliver was allergic to many furry animals we bought our first reptile just for him,” says Dean.

Starting out with a bearded dragon lizard, the family now has tortoises, hamsters, tree frogs, salamanders, snakes, geckos, giant stick insects, a chameleon and hissing cockroaches, all of which don’t mind being handled, once Dean has shown pupils and other customers what to do.

“The phenomenal demand for Meet A Creature sessions over the past year has demonstrated a clear market for this service,” says Dean.

“I believe the recession has worked in our favour because schools are booking our exciting, hands-on sessions as a cost effective means of offering children a new experience, rather than paying for transport to take them out on a school trip.”

Now Dean wants to expand the business by helping someone to set up a pilot franchise in the Leeds area. More details of Meet A Creature can be found at www.meetacreature.co.uk.