Our mission is to help land hermit crabs thrive in captivity. To this end we are dedicated to providing information, education and products that will lead to happy healthy hermit crabs.
Our Philosophy is to mimic, as best we can, the conditions that land hermit crabs would find in the wild.
My name is Tammy Weick and I own and run, with the help of my husband Kirk, The Hermit Crab Patch (previously The Crabbage Patch). The Hermit Crab Patch is my outward expression of a 30+ year fascination and obsession with Coenobita clypeatus, commonly called the 'Purple Pincher' hermit crab.
My first day in business was April 5 2005. I piled some supplies and a couple of tanks of hermit crabs in our 2 door car, a scene reminiscent of 'The Beverly Hillbillies', and headed up to the local farmers market where I rented a single spot. Kirk was out of town at the time and was surprised when I told him that I took the plunge and set up shop.
Over the 3 years that we were at Renningers market our single space with a couple of tables morphed into a Tiki style fully enclosed booth.
The best part about being at Rennigers was that I would consistently have people come by our booth that already had hermit crabs as pets but were not having success keeping them alive. With the right combination of information and proper supplies I am pleased to say that I have had a part in helping many hermit crabs survive.
In October of '08 we moved from Renningers market to our current facility where we are able to combine our retail and online operations. Now when a customer comes to visit we have all of our products and resources in one place.
On The Web
We began our online store in July of '06. Building our online presence has definitely been a learning experience. With this current site we have integrated our care information and knowledge with the ability to purchase the proper supplies for your pet hermit crabs. It is our hope that this integration will make it easier to understand how to help pet hermit crabs thrive in captivity.
Current State Of Affairs
We have all been in places that sell hermit crabs in less than optimal conditions. It can be a very depressing experience, crabs crammed into a small cage filled with brightly colored fish gravel with only a sponge to drink from. Often the crabs aren't moving and usually there is at least one dead crab and multiple limbs scattered about. Half the time the salespeople have no idea how to take care of them and it's a rare shop that offers any information on them at all.
Sadly, hermit crabs still have a reputation as being a disposable pet. They can be found for sale at surf shops, souvenir shops, mall kiosks, and even won as prizes at the county fair when it's in town. Hermit crabs are often marketed as a novelty item without regard for their well being.
We Do Things Differently
At The Hermit Crab Patch we do things differently. Both online and locally, we have created a wonderful all inclusive space where your pet hermit crab is our client.
When you visit our local shop in Mount Dora, Florida here is what you will find.
We have a sandbox area for visiting crabs. We encourage all of our customers to bring their crabs with them, especially when shopping for new shells. It is really fun to watch your crab try on new shells. We have plenty to choose from, satisfying even the pickiest of customers!
Or you can grab your favorite crab and give him or her some treats at our Jumbo Feeder Table.
Bring your crabs in for a checkup, I am always happy to help if you have any concerns in your crabitat. Many of our customers just bring their crabs by for a social visit just to say hi.
At The Hermit Crab Patch we sell only healthy hermit crabs. All of our crabs go through at least one molt with us before they are offered for sale. By selling crabs that have recently molted while in our care, we know that the crabs have acclimated to life in captivity and have a much greater chance of long term survival. Our crabs are always kept in the proper conditions where they are able to bury and molt at any time. This further reduces their stress by not allowing buildup of a harmful hormone.
Education Hands On Hands Off
It is important to buy your crabs from someone who knows how to properly care for them as well as keeping them in a cage where they are able to bury to molt when they need to.
It is important to us to educate customers and the pet industry on the proper care of land hermit crabs.
Now more than ever, there is an abundance of information available on the internet and books alike on various ways to keep hermit crabs as pets. It can be very confusing to a new crab owner to try and wade through all of the information and misinformation.
At The Hermit Crab Patch we try to keep things fairly simple. When it comes to hermit crab care our approach is more Hands Off than others. We believe if you set up your crabitat properly and provide for your crabs basic needs, they will instinctively take care of the rest. When it comes to handling your hermit crab we take a more Hands On approach. Hermit crabs can be a very interactive pet and there is no better way to create a bond with your crab than through their stomach. We specialize in helping you learn how to hand feed treats to your pet crab. You will have your crabs for many years and as they grow they become more and more fun and your relationship will grow.
A Work In Progress
We are continually working to offer the best products and care information available. We always appreciate any feedback, comments or recommendations you have on ways to better serve you and ultimately the hermit crabs you care for.