Alligator Alley began in October of 1988.
Owners Bryan and Tammie Swinney were both public school teachers and had
worked part-time in the pet industry. Bryan continued teaching science
in the Putnam City school district, selling reptiles mail-order in the
In August of 1989 a deal was made to lease a small space (200 square feet) in the back of a local, upscale tropical fish store called Seas and Trees. Business grew rapidly, and within a year more space was desperately needed.
After much searching, a 1500sf space was leased in the Meridian Plaza shopping center at 16th and Meridian in OKC. Two years in this space also provided rapid growth, and more space was needed.
In September of 1992 a move was made around the corner in the same shopping center to a 3000+sf space facing Meridian Ave. Shortly after this move, Bryan left the teaching profession to work full time in the store.
Business continued to grow and by the mid nineties it was obvious that more space would be needed. After much searching for a nearby building proved fruitless, the decision was made to purchase land and build a new building. Land was purchased about 3/4 of a mile away at 4636 NW 10th Street. Some small existing buildings on the property were left and added on to give a total size of more than 5500sf to the new facility.
The business was moved on Memorial Day, 1998 and business has been good. Since the move we have greatly expanded our selection of livestock and dry goods. More recently we have begun selling winter-hardy tropical plants--Palms, Bamboo, Cactus and even Bananas. Check out our sister site, Amazing Gardens.