PRINCETON — Hennepin native Lori Boekeloo is proving the saying “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
A May fire destroyed her Princeton business, but not her drive to succeed, and just a few short months after the blaze, Boekeloo will be ready to reopen her pet store Boek-el-ZOO.
The former Tanks/Boek-el-ZOO was gutted after an electrical fire May 30, and with it, years of work Boekeloo put into her beloved pet store. Boekeloo embraced the outpouring of support from loyal friends and customers and immediately began plans to rebuild the business as quickly as possible.
Community-supported fundraisers and a GoFundMe replenished her coffers enough to find a new location, still on Princeton’s South Main Street, just blocks from the former location.
“We are going to plan a celebration for a mid-September grand reopening,” Boekeloo said. “Our name will now just be Boek-el-ZOO.”
“We have everything moved to the new location and we’re now in the process of organizing. We were able to stay on the south end as we had hoped.”
Boekeloo said the fundraisers and donations were key in allowing her to get back on her feet so quickly. A dedicated group of Boek-el-ZOO fans also has been fostering animals since the fire.
“There will many changes, but Howard (the duck), was rescued from the fire and will still be there. We are introducing Fred, a green naped lorikeet. The Learning Center will be dedicated to Laila the store cockatoo that perished in the fire.”
“I haven’t planned any of the fundraisers so far, and I’m not sure what my loyal customers have up their sleeves for the future,” she said. “Our only immediate need is a good, working upright freezer.”
Boekeloo has been able to keep up with some of her customer’s needs making feeders available while waiting to officially open the new store.
“Despite the tragedy, we were chosen as one of the 56 reasons to visit Princeton,” Boekeloo said.