Based in the heart of Bewdley, The Zoo has been trading since Steve Gould founded it in 1999.
After asking him where the name came from and failing to get an answer, I asked him what was the first computer that he personally owned. "Despite what the fashion police may say about the seventies, that decade holds many happy memories for me. It was the time that I purchased my first computer – a Sharp MZ80K – which had a staggering 48K RAM. Having been a bit of a techno-geek most of my life, I suppose it was inevitable I'd end up in computers."
After again declining to answer where the shop's name came from, Gould explained how he came to open The Zoo.
"In 1999, whilst I was working for Siemens as a controls engineer, and only weekends free, my wife and I applied to Excalibur Computer Fairs. After ten weeks, I realised that we had something special and in January 2000, I handed in my notice to a very confused employer so that I could focus on running our own business. Initially working from home, we stayed with the weekend computer fairs, but also changed our website and began to build the mail order side of things until we needed a unit."
In 2002, The Zoo moved from Stourbridge to Far Forest, near Bewdley. Gould refers to this as phase three of the development of the business. It was during the time here that he realised that the type of business they were doing was changing. It seemed there was a demand for someone in the area who knew about computers.
"With 'I wish we'd known about you before' echoing in our ears, and having fixed a few PC related issues, I decided it was time for the final phase. This was a move to High Street retail premises, in order to build up customer awareness. Having managed two stores previously, we acquired the keys to our premises in November 2003 and since then things have gone from strength to strength."