Wild adventure continues

Kenni and David Huff/Nor Cal Reptile Adventures

Photo by Ashiah Scharaga

Just one month after launching Nor Cal Reptile Adventures, Kenni and David Huff (pictured with daughter Kris Tina) have found that their business already is living up to its name. Kenni often gets stopped for photos with Speedy, a 40-year-old tortoise that weighs over 100 pounds, while they’re out taking strolls. She has a soft spot for Jasper, the ball python and resident escape artist, while David has bonded with Chewbacca, an Argentine black and white tegu. The Huffs never thought they’d embark on such an adventure—David worked in landscaping, and Kenni sold smooth, sparkling Santorini rocks. But when family friend Ron Greenberg, of Ron’s Reptiles, decided to shutter his business last year, they were inspired to follow in his footsteps. Greenberg has been encouraging and instrumental, they said, helping them learn the ropes. Nor Cal Reptile Adventures sells feeder mice and rats and insects, and plans to offer supplies such as cages, bedding, food and heat lamps. The Huffs also offer birthday parties, special events and school visits, for which they’ll bring along some of the reptiles. Among their inventory of snakes, lizards, tortoises and turtles is the showstopper—Calvin, an albino Burmese python who’s over 12 feet long. Nor Cal Reptile Adventures is located at 5050 Cohasset Road, Ste. 50.

How’d you get into this business?

Kenni: Years and years ago I had turtles. I always have questions: What do I do now? or How do I do this? … I had been [a client of Ron’s Reptiles] for many years. We love both of them, [Ron and his wife, Donna]. Several years ago, [Donna] decided to give [my daughter] Kris Tina a bearded dragon, ’cause it was missing part of its tail. So we’ve had [Lucky Tail] as a pet. When we found out that Donna had passed and [Ron’s Reptiles] was closing, [Ron] had mentioned the community needing a supplier of mice and rats for feeders. He didn’t want to leave a hole here in the community. He has been working with us and training us and telling us what we need to do.

What are you looking forward to as business grows?

David: We’re meeting the coolest people—there’s businessmen, doctors, there’s people just more down-home, just laid back. I want to acquire the same kind of passion that our customers come in [with].

Kenni: We don’t want them just coming in and buying mice; we want to know what they’re feeding.

What’s it like working with the reptiles every day?

Kenni: It’s exciting just to learn.

David: [And to] see their characters develop. The little baby tortoises … come running to the glass because they know their lettuce is coming.

Kenni: You wouldn’t believe the littlest animals; how much they can put away!

David: It’s a little challenging. You’ve got to keep track of humidity, temperature, proper cages. I’m not gonna lie, I was intimidated at this, when I’m looking at [41] reptiles in there and it’s a daily chore to come on in and open up shop.

Kenni: I like the word adventure, because this is a big adventure for us.