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Dog-Gone Dedicated

Longtime Falconer Pet Store Set To Close Doors

Pictured are The Blue Fin Pet Shop owners Dan and Sylvia (Silver) Magara with their two dogs Buddy and Lucky. The couple will be retiring and closing their long-time Falconer shop June 1. P-J photo by Nikk Holland

FALCONER –The Blue Fin Pet Shop has been a constant both in Falconer and Dan and Sylvia (Silver) Magara’s lives for almost 40 years. Soon, the two will be closing the doors to their village staple.

“The reason for closing the store is that it is time, so that we can enjoy each other to the fullest,” Dan Magara said. “One thing we have seen over the years is that we are not promised tomorrow.”

The two worked endlessly throughout their 39 years as owners of the shop.

“In our 39 years, we took one vacation — back in 1992 — right before we expanded,” Magara said. “Ever since, we have been at the shop every day. The one constant in our lives for 39 years is going to close on June 1.”

The couple said they got into the pet shop business when the store location became available 39 years ago. Before going into the business, Magara’s wife, Silver, was a maid at the old Gaslight Motel and Magara worked at Tidy Car.

Pictured from left are former State Sen. Cathy Young; Blue Fin owners Silver and Dan Magara; and former Falconer Mayor Dave Krieg. The former senator helped celebrate The Blue Fin’s 30th anniversary in June 2012. Submitted photo

After discussing buying the property, Magara said the two invested everything, and thus began their career in the pet shop business. When the store opened, it featured 18 aquariums with fish and other pets like hamsters and parakeets.

The couple raised the hamsters and exotic birds right in the store, and Magara said they took great pleasure in watching the offspring grow and instructing customers how to raise and care for them.

After the business began to grow, the two realized an expansion was in store.

“The business grew, and after nine years — when the Bath Shop closed — we knocked down the wall between our stores and expanded,” Magara said. “We then started to buy fish right from the fish farms in Florida to ensure that our customers had the very best we could have for them.”

The two adjusted with the economic changes that come with owning a business for a lengthy period of time.

Pictured are Dan and Silver 39 years ago when they first opened their pet shop in Falconer. Submitted photo

“When business changed, we would change with it,” Magara said. “When the world became different with big box stores, we would still try and make sure we stayed current with what our customers wanted and needed.”

After Magara’s wife was in a car accident in 2009, he said he started spending even more time at the shop. Magara also began buying and selling gold in his shop.

“At first, it was funny when someone would come in with something they wanted to sell and say, ‘Am I in the right spot?'” Magara said. “We would laugh a little and say, ‘Yes, you are.'”

Magara said he would peruse yard sales looking for gold and silver to buy before going into work for the day. He said he would always give customers the best price on the precious metals he could.

The couple’s favorite part of owning the store is the interactions with parents and their children looking to purchase new pets.

“Our favorite aspect of owning the store is watching parents and grandparents bring their kids into the store for their first fish, hamester or parakeet,” Magara said. “Then watching the kids’ eyes light up when they knew they would be taking it home with them.”

One of the things the couple will miss the most is the bond between them and their customers that blossomed into friendships.

“Over the 39 years, many customers would become lifetime friends that we could laugh or cry about how life would often throw us a curve ball,” Magara said. “To us, customers are not just faceless people coming into the store. They would become friends and family. Watching their families grow was always a treasure.”

Magara said after the closing of the shop, his wife will still service the aquariums of a select few long-time customers while he continues to rummage through yard sales looking for gold and silver to buy. The store phone number will still be active for those who need help regarding their pets.

Most of all, Magara wants to thank his customers for allowing him and his wife to be a part of their lives.

“We would like to thank all our customers for 39 years of being the owners of The Blue Fin Pet Shop,” Magara said. “Thank you for sharing your lives with us.”

Falconer Mayor James Jaroszynski, who has been a customer of The Blue Fin, shared his thoughts about the Magaras closing their store.

“The Magara’s have been long-time merchants of Falconer,” Jaroszynski said. “I’ve known them a long time, back into my time with the Ellicott Police department.”

Jaroszynski said that he, and other village officials, are pained by The Blue Fin’s closing.

“I really hate to see them go because I’ve known them a long time,” he said. “Myself and the board are going to miss them being in the village.”

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