Most adults dream of working at a job they love. However, not everybody is afforded that luxury.
Hector Berrios pursues his passion every day.
Berrios has owned The Fish Tank Guy shop, located on 3049 N. Fifth St., for nine years and is Fairhill’s only fish and aquarium supply store. Berrios said he began collecting rare fish as a hobby and is thankful he gets a chance to educate and instruct his customers in how to care for the fish they purchase from him for a living.
“Most of my customers come into my store for the first time and have never seen the different types of neat fish I sell or any fish at all for that matter,” said Berrios, 46. “I love taking the time out and explaining the uniqueness of every fish, I love watching the look of interest on the face of my customers.”
Berrios said the shop does well enough but admitted he sacrifices profits at times to make sure a buyer can properly care for the fish.
“It’s not about money,” Berrios said.
“I know I could definitely make greater profits selling customers various fish and tanks that are not in the animal’s best interest. I know for a fact other stores do. But that is not why I have this store. At times I will even refuse to sell certain things to customers because I know it will not work. I want to make sure the fish live a long and happy life.”
Cavin Handy, 24, has been working at the shop for three years and has learned a great deal working for Berrios. Handy, a California native, explained his dream is to return home and open up a fish store.
“I want to open up a shop on a boardwalk near where I’m from,” Handy said. “I have learned how to run a store working here, I think I know enough now that I could do it.”
Handy also explained he would follow Berrios’ approach the shop would not be about solely making a profit. He said he would do it because he takes pleasure doing what he does.