The UK's largest specialist aquatic retailer has reached a milestone, opening two new stores in Cheddar and Lechlade.
The company has come a long way in a relatively short time, beginning its days as a single high street store, actually in the town of Maidenhead, from where it takes its name.
Now Maidenhead Aquatics has stores all over England and Wales, Scotland and even one in Northern Ireland, as well as supplying choice products online at www.fishkeeper.co.uk
"From the day we opened our first store in Kings Street in Maidenhead town centre nearly 30 years ago, we’ve firmly believed that one of the key ingredients to our success is employing passionate and dedicated fishkeepers.
"Today we employ just under 600 staff and each of them share your enthusiasm for fishkeeping. If you’ve visited more than one of our stores, you’ll know that despite being the UK’s leading and largest chain of aquatic retailers, each branch has its own character and specialities."
"Nearly 30 years and 120 stores later, we still stand for excellent service and the best advice and we still believe in stores that are staffed “by fishkeepers for fishkeepers”. As for the future, we aim to keep growing as a business and providing for our customers above and beyond their expectations."
Practical Fishkeeping's last two editors, Jeremy Gay and Matt Clarke, also spent periods working for Maidenhead Aquatics, as did PFK's current technical writer Nathan Hill.
"I remember when I first discovered a Maidenhead Aquatics store in my local Wyevale garden centre." Said current PFK editor Jeremy Gay. "It just blew me away! They had fish that I had previously only seen in books and magazines, and I used to spend hours wandering up and down the many rows of well stocked tanks.
"It wasn't long before I changed my career entirely to aquatic livestock manager at that branch, where the firm let me well and truly indulge my passion for cichlids and rare fish, and the variety of fish I could order in was phenomenal. I was in heaven, and together we won a lot of awards.
"I saw it happen to many of my customers when I worked there too - something I call to this day the Maidenhead effect. I've no doubt that so many areas of the UK, and its fishkeepers, have better local fish because a Maidenhead Aquatics store opened there, and I think that standards in aquatic retail have raised across the board because of them."
"By being members of OATA and supporting worthy causes such as the Big Fish Campaign," say Maidenhead Aquatics, "we also aim to keep leading the way in responsible fishkeeping and innovation for many more years to come."
The full listing of all 120 stores appears below, with contact details at the Maidenhead Aquatics website:
Big Blue Aquatics
Isle of Wight
Peterborough Garden Park
Swansea Enterprise Park