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I don't know anything about tropical fish except that I love to look at them in aquariums. They're beautiful and have such unique appearances.
I received a real education when I visited with Josh Davis and Jordan Cherrington at Tropical Fish Wholesale in Draper. These young, ambitious and dedicated entrepreneurs took over a business that was operated by Josh's father, Steve Davis, for more than 20 years. The company was then known as Crystal Springs Fisheries. When Steve decided to retire, Josh expanded and added new marketing concepts to the business. He decided it was time to become more innovative and employ better technology.
The company has generated a great following by expanding its marketing business base. Instead of selling farm-raised fish to big box stores, Josh decided to sell on the Internet to the end consumer. I wondered about the logistics of shipping live, tropical fish all over the country. Josh said this is possible because the company developed a sound, effective way to ship and guarantee that the fish arrive on time and in prime health. Customers can select their ship date on FedEx Overnight by using the shipping calendar on their computer order form.
Although direct Internet sales are a major portion of the business, the company has not forgotten their local Utah roots. Besides the huge tropical fish farm in Bluffdale, there is also a retail and wholesale store in Draper. I was fascinated to see the fish farm. It boasts more than 250 round 200-gallon tanks. Each tank is equipped to constantly refresh the spring water, which is like giving a fish six complete water changes per day.
I was a little confused because Josh used three different company names during our discussion. He explained the company uses the name Live Fish Direct for its Internet shipping business, Tropical Fish Wholesale for its retail/wholesale operation in Draper and Aquatic Products Direct as a subsidiary for aquarium dry goods.