Staff and veterinarians with South Fork Veterinary Hospital are excited about opening a new satellite office in St. John next week. A grand opening celebration is planned for Thursday, March 5, during which all employees will be on hand to meet and greet potential customers, new and old friends from 4-7 p.m. at 109 N. Main, the former Sheer Designers building.
"This is something we have wanted to do for a long time," said Shelley Hullman, office manager. "It just makes sense. We have many connections to St. John, some of us even live there, and we have always had a lot of customers from that area, we just could never find the right place to open up an office."
The problem dissolved rather rapidly just a few months back in December 2019 when Shelley's mother, who happens to live in St. John, was getting her hair done at Sheer Designers and learned the building would soon be for sale.
"They needed someone to buy the building, and it was just a perfect fit for what we wanted to do with the vet clinic," Hullman said. "I just love that little office, it's already decorated so cute. We didn't have to do much to get it ready."
Hullman just happens to be married to Shan Hullman, D.V.M. at South Fork Veterinarian Hospital in Pratt. Together they have worked at that facility, 2201 E. First Street for 30 years. Expanding their current business has always been in the back of their minds.
"I grew up there in St. John, Gina our receptionist lives there, our associate Anamarie Weber (D.V.M.) lives there too," Shelley Hullman said. "It just makes sense that we open a satellite office there. We all plan to take turns working in this new place."
Shan Hullman said that immediate plans were to be available at the St. John office on Thursdays each week, with office hours from 1-5 p.m.
"We can always add more days and hours if the need is there," he said. "For now, this will just be a place for mainly small animal health needs like blood work, vaccinations, tests, basic routine health examinations."
Hullman said he had a few plumbing updates done at the St. John satellite, but other than that it was pretty much set up for what was needed for a small animal vet office.
"There were already sinks there, we just added an exam table with a tub underneath," he said. "It's not a very big place, just what we needed for what we want to do."
In Pratt, personnel at South Fork Veterinary Hospital see a wide variety of large and small animals, including cattle, horses, dogs, cats, goats, sheep, birds and reptiles. Hullman said he expected to work mostly with small animals in St. John.
"We will still have the Pratt office for all our large animal work, any surgeries, use of lab machines, etc.," he said. "This office in St. John is just a convenience for us and for our customers who might not want to travel so far for their regular pet care."
The Hullmans hope many will stop by for their open house on March 5 in St. John to take advantage of pet food samples and other free giveaways they will have available. And also, to meet their staff, of course.
"The whole staff is excited about this," Hullman said. "We can't wait to get started in St. John."