SAN FRANCISCO – John Chan’s days in the peacefulness of chirping exotic birds have recently become quite eventful. After 40 years of working at his family’s business, Pet Central, in Chinatown, Chan had decided it was time to retire. He posted an ad on the Nextdoor app, stating that the pet store was up for sale and that he was looking for someone who loves animals. Interestingly, Chan’s asking price was $0, but he did hope to recover the value of the inventory, which amounted to around $120,000.
To his surprise, Chan’s announcement quickly gained attention. After KPIX reported on his story, he was bombarded with hundreds of calls, texts, and emails from all over the world. People were eager to learn more and offer their services. The story spread rapidly, not only across different parts of the United States but also to countries like Singapore and Canada.
Among the many applicants, Chan found his perfect successor in Christopher Blake, a former Teamster and pet store owner. Blake, along with two other friends who grew up in Chinatown, couldn’t bear to see the store go and felt a personal connection to it. They were young, passionate, and had a genuine love for animals, many of which they had acquired from Pet Central. For Blake, keeping the store open was also a way of honoring his late father, who often visited the store with him during the pandemic.
The overwhelming response and finding a suitable successor has left Chan feeling like he’s won a golden ticket. In fact, he plans to take his first vacation in 15 years, as he looks forward to a new chapter in his life. The support from the community and the outpouring of interest in Pet Central have brought him great joy and excitement. This unexpected turn of events has proven that sometimes, when you let go, incredible things can happen.