What is Northwest Seed & Pet? It's Karen Marcus helping customers as a scarlet macaw sits on her right shoulder like a rainbow. It's the smell of earthy fertilizer and baby chicks and rosemary in the rain.
"It's very Spokane," customer Steve Eggers says.
This year, Northwest Seed & Pet celebrates its 75th anniversary in a community where many of its customers are second- or third-generation.
As a child, Steve's mom Kellie Eggers brought him to the store twice a week at a minimum. His favorite memory is the store's alligator.
"We would sit here for hours trying to get him to move," he says.
Today Steve and his mom are visiting the store with his niece. She happily watches the puppies and chicks, walking around in her bright pink boots. Ducks, lizards, mice, parakeets and chickens cuddle, sun themselves and squawk around her. For a young child, it's a scene to appreciate.
Before owning Northwest Seed & Pet, Bob Mauk worked as a clerk in the plant nursery. Over the years, he's seen many changes, especially in the pet business."For a long time, birds were very big and that's waned. Fish and chickens are big now. I've heard it's a better diet," he says jokingly.
"The highlight of my job is the good feeling when you help somebody out and they're appreciative of it," Mauk adds.
Northwest Seed & Pet has two locations: 2422 E. Sprague Ave. and 7302 N. Division St.