Lucan outside Reptile Rendezvous in The Village at Waterdale with a Burmese Python

The New Year is the time to head to the Village at Waterdale Shopping Centre for a more unusual choice of gifts as two new shops open in the Doncaster shopping centre.

Reptile Rendezvous and Furry Friends and K & A Occasions have opened at the Village at Waterdale, which is owned by the expert developer and regeneration specialist St. Modwen.

Pet store Reptile Rendezvous and Furry Friends is located at 28 Kingsgate and has taken an 816 sq ft unit, between Wool and Much Much More and Lakeside Furniture, following the success of its pop-up store last summer.

A variety of snakes, lizards and invertebrates are among the pets for sale, alongside pet food and animal encounters with reptiles and small mammals, including a raccoon, skunk, meerkats and armadillo. They also offer onsite and offsite children’s parties as well as educational talks to schools, care homes and after school clubs.

Lucan Handley, founder of Reptile Rendezvous and Furry Friends, said: “We started Reptile Rendezvous four years ago, focusing mainly on animal encounters and educational experiences. The popularity of the business has grown rapidly and expanding into a pet shop was a natural next step.

“We were asked to take part in a pop-up family fun day at the Village at Waterdale in August last year, and the space we were provided with was perfect for our business, we had to take it on a permanent basis.

“We also find homes for rescue animals, so it is important for us to have this permanent space, so we can educate the public on each of the species and interview each potential owner before selling.”

Founded by mumpreneurs Kirsty Riccardo and Amy Christian are the second retailers to open in a matter of weeks, expanding their bouncy castle hire business into an all occasion party shop.

K&A Occasions specialises in balloons, chair covers, wedding décor, candy floss machines, slushie drink machines, popcorn machines, bouncy castles, soft play, sweet carts, party bags and other party accessories for corporate events, weddings and parties.

Taking 1,210 sq ft of space on a two-year lease, the party suppliers are located at 8 Kingsgate next door to The Pud Store, and even has a children’s play area to keep little ones entertained while their parents shop.

Kirsty Riccardo, of K & A Occasions, said: “It was important for us to continue to trade locally and the space at the Village at Waterdale is perfect for us. We’re able to remain central in Doncaster with easy access and parking for our loyal customers.

“As two working mums it was key for us to expand our business. We also have a soft play area in-store for parents and children to come and not only shop but enjoy quality time together.

“Since opening, we have been well-received by the local community and our business is already going from strength to strength, with our range expanding all the time.”

Rebecca Berry, Centre Manager at the Village at Waterdale, said: “We’re pleased to welcome both K & A Occasions and Reptile Rendezvous to centre. We’re known locally for having a unique shopping experience and they are the perfect addition to our range of shops.”

The Village at Waterdale is a shopping centre located in the heart of Doncaster Town Centre, just minutes away from Doncaster Rail Station. Other retailers and eateries include Little Zebra Children’s Clothing, Refurnish, Wool & Much Much More, PUD, Vault 14, Lakeside Furniture Direct, The City Restaurant, Taste Eatery and Café Alfresco, Java Café, Ajika and a Children’s Nursery, Sticky Mits Childcare Centre.

For more information about The Village at Waterdale and upcoming events, please visit the Facebook page @TheVillageWaterdale.