For years, Kris Bunya’s father was one of Southern California’s leaders in the aquarium business. But as technology made it easier and easier for enthusiasts to order fish and coral on-line, the business started to wane.
But Bunya wasn’t about to let that happen.
“Technology had passed us by, but I wanted my dad’s legacy to continue. I didn’t want what he built to fall apart,” said Bunya, 33, who has been working alongside his father since he was just 7-years-old.
Last year, Bunya took over the business, renamed it Aquarium LAX and began a revisioning that he believes will make Aquarium LAX a major industry player again.
Bunya hand-picks each fish from wholesalers and has established an impressive “back of house” protocol to ensure the health of every fish and every piece of coral he offers for sale. He is in the midst of creating a new on-line store so he can compete with other stores across the nation and is even building out a new shipping department that, because of his proximity to LAX, will enable fish deliveries to happen as quickly as possible – something he says is critical to maintaining the health of the fish he ships.
All of this is happening at precisely the right time.
“I remember what happened when “Finding Nemo’ came out and what a big boost it was for business,” he said. “‘Finding Dori’ is going to do the same thing for us –it will set us apart.”
Bunya currently stocks a huge variety of fish, corals and invertebrates, so whether you’re looking for an octopus, a ray or even a shark, he has it. The store even allows visitors to feed the sharks in his massive 6,000-gallon shark tank for $2. LAX Aquarium works with those just starting out to assemble the supplies and tanks necessary to launch their first aquarium, designs custom aquariums for hotels and offices and will even provide turn-key maintenance and repairs for tanks in homes or business settings.
Aquarium LAX has a variety of essential and non-essential products and their on-floor staff is knowledgeable and friendly. For more information, visit Aquarium LAX at 5310 W. Century Boulevard (just east of The Westin Hotel) or visit them online at www.laxaquarium.com.