Meet The Team

Lois Hook

Lois Hook

Owner

Lois is the owner of Northampton Reptile Centre and now Northampton Reptile & Fish Centre at Bell Plantation.

Antony Hook

Antony Hook

Owner

Lois and Antony opened Northampton Reptile Centre in 1995. As keen reptile keepers they have shared their many years of experience with other reptile keepers from Northampton and the surrounding area.

Their reptilecentre.com website started in 2008 and rapidly became a market leader in selling reptile products online.

Lois an Antony have also kept many species on tropical and pond fish over the years and are very excited to have opened Northampton Reptile & Fish Centre at Bell Plantation garden centre.

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    Sam Shapter

    Sam Shapter

    Area Manager

    Sam's interest started 18 years ago when she asked her mum to get her a snake for Christmas, she was terrified! Luckily she persuaded her to get over her fears and she was finally allowed her first snake, a Western Hognose. Her mum then became so enamoured by her that their collection at home started to grow!

    Next, they had a couple of Leopard Geckos and then a Corn Snake that was a rescue. Sam's mum got so involved with the reptiles, she sold her business and after a lot of research and learning she began Sam’s Species Reptile Rescue and Sanctuary.

    They now have over 450 reptiles in their home! This includes monitor lizards, iguanas, various dragons, tortoises, snakes all the way up to  big Burmese and rock pythons. They also have a lot of arachnids and amphibians. Sam's main passions in the reptile world are tortoises, big snakes and monitor lizards.

    Sam has had a lot of success with breeding reptiles during her time at Northampton Reptile Centre and also at home. She has bred collared lizards, various geckos, tortoises, chameleons, Rankin's and bearded dragons, corns and king snakes and common boas.

    Its not just herps in her collection though, she also has parrots, ferrets, pygmy hedgehogs, dogs and cats. Sam also has a lot of experience in the parrot world too, being lucky enough to hand rear some very exotic birds.

    When not working as the Northampton Reptile Manager, Sam is helping her mum with all the animals at home, so you could say it has taken over her life!

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    Gary Rolfe

    Gary Rolfe

    Aquatic Team

    Gary is an experienced fishkeeper with over 20 years experience working with aquatic life.

    Gary's transition from hobbyist to professional fishkeeper began as a teenager when he completed a BTEC National Diploma in Aquatics and Ornamental Fish Management at Sparsholt College. Keen to develop his understanding of aquatic life further, he then completed a BSc. (Hons.) degree in Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology at Plymouth University.

    A desire to work closely with ornamental fish and help fellow fishkeepers saw Gary take up the helm of aquatics manager at GM Aquatics in Northampton. The team at GM Aquatics created a store for hobbyists to really enjoy their hobby.

    Enthusiastic about pond fish and koi, Gary entered the 2006 Koi Grand Mastermind competition in Koi magazine. After reaching the finals, Gary competed at the BKKS show in Newark in a test of koi knowledge against 5 other finalists. Gary won the competition and was crowned the 2006 Koi Grand Mastermind Champion. He was flown to Japan where he spent a week visiting the koi farms of the Niigata. This helped Gary further his understanding of koi keeping. He wrote several articles on the subject that were published in Koi Magazine. Gary has also been published in Practical Fishkeeping magazine.

    Gary has spent time employed by manufacturers of fish food, medicines and water treatments. This enabled him to understand the in-depth process of developing and retailing high quality products for fishkeepers.

    Gary is looking forward to sharing his experience with customers at Northampton Reptile & Fish Centre.

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    Rachel Blackburn

    Rachel Blackburn

    Aquatic Team

    Bio coming soon!

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      Brian Hook

      Brian Hook

      Aquatic Team

      Brian's love of fish began at an early age as he has always been a keen angler.

      Having spent many years working in construction, Brian enjoys setting up and installing garden ponds. Brian is particularly interested in pond fish but has also kept many species of tropical fish.

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        Cameron Hook

        Cameron Hook

        Reptile Team

        Bio coming soon!

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          Tchad Soper

          Reptile Team

          Bio coming soon!

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            Alys Wilson

            Alys Wilson

            Reptile Team

            Alys has always been interested in animals from a young age, but specifically reptiles. When she got her first Bearded Dragon, from then on, they have always been a passion of hers.

            When she started college she had to undertake a work experience module. With a keen interest in reptiles she asked if I could do this experience at the Northampton Reptile Centre. Through the experience she gained, she learned how to care for many reptiles and after completing her work experience she continued to work with us part time.

            Over the last couple of years Alys has become much more confident and her knowledge of reptiles has grown much further. After completing her college course, Alys now works at the Northampton Reptile Centre full time and loves it!

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              Jack Holland

              Reptile Team

              Jack has only recently started working at Northampton reptile centre full time.

              Needing work experience for his college course and having always had an interest in snakes and lizards he decided to seek work experience with us.

              As Jack started to gain confidence, he offered to help out more on his days off from college as his interest and knowledge in reptiles was rapidly growing. As he learnt more about the animals and their husbandry it was clear that Jack was a good for for our team and he was asked if he could become a permanent member.

              Jack now knows a lot more about reptiles than he could have ever imagined and believes he could not have chosen a better career path as he has well and truly fallen in love with reptiles.

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                Luke Tansley

                Online Team

                Luke started caring for reptiles in 2013 when his girlfriend purchased their first corn snake. Since then he has followed the hobby and expanded his personal collection with a pair of Western hognose snakes, a Mexican black king snake a pair of Tri-colour hognose snakes and a bearded dragon.

                After finishing his college course with distinction and having worked part time at a shop he was initially looking for a career working as a laboratory technician but after gaining an interest in reptiles he instead chose to apply for a position at his local reptile centre.

                Luke started working for the Northampton Reptile Centre online team in early 2015 becoming a full time member of the team by March of the same year. He started working under Lois (owner) and Gary (Head of E-commerce) in the office behind the shop to learn their business, systems and standards. Later the same year he moved out of the office having learnt a fair amount and took on the customer care role.

                Having spent a couple of years conversing with the public and learning all about the animals and their care he now feels confident in advising customers and making sure they get the very best equipment for their species.

                In any spare time at work he has also been known to help out with promotional videos, quizzes and blogs for more customer interaction.

                With Adam (customer care apprentice) joining the team at the end of 2016 he has started overseeing customer service while training Adam rather than being the first point of contact. With a little more free time he can now split his time between customer care and supporting Gary with website maintenance, analytics and other projects. If you need any help or advise concerning products or husbandry you can catch Luke on the phones, website live chat or via email.

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                  Adam Parkes

                  Adam Parkes

                  Online Team

                  Adam is the newest member of the online team having joined us in December 2016 following the completion of his 6th form.  Though he did not own any reptiles of his own he had shown and interest and has learnt a lot by observing the store team in their daily jobs. He started with the online team as an apprentice and is currently learning under Gary (head of e-commerce), Luke (E-commerce assistant manager) and his local college. In his short time with us he has already begun to grasp our passion for customer service and has aligned himself with the stores high standards.

                  Though he is still learning he has quickly picked up a lot of information regarding the construction of reptile enclosures and husbandry associated with some of the more common species. He is also quickly learning the differences between products we offer online and is capable of providing sound advice. He continues to improve every day.

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