Margate resident and small business owner, Barbara Jolly, loves the beach, the coast and that moment where you can stand at the water’s edge and “see infinity”. It’s her moment of peace that is surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the Casino industry and running her own Pet Store, Jolly Pets, on Ventnor Avenue in Margate, New Jersey

Jolly, 58, moved to Atlantic City before the casinos opened at the age of 24.

She would visit with friends who were in the Real Estate business and in turn ended up with a duplex in the inlet, “great fun, 3 blocks from the beach”. As the Casino industry began to flourish, Barbara decided dealer school was the next stop. 34 years later she is now in a full-time management position at Bally’s, working the Sunrise Shift (3am to 11am) and then jaunts over to her small business, Jolly Pets.

“I’ve been a dog person my whole life, I’ve been breeding (Havanese) for 12 years. There’s no pet store on the island, so I thought, “Why isn’t there a pet store here?”

After 6 years of searching for the right location, “location, location, location” Barbara and her husband, Mr. Jolly, found the ideal spot on Ventnor Avenue. “We were at Johnny’s for Happy Hour and I saw a sign across the street in the window of the bookstore”. The small bookstore was going out of business. “I looked at my husband and said ‘there it is’”.

She called up the landlord, who turned out to be a friend of hers, and 3 months later JOLLY PETS opened it doors on June 18th, 2011.

“I didn’t know anything about retail but my sister told me ‘you’re never going to know until you try.”
“It was something I wanted to do” says Jolly, “It was my dream”
Here’s to Barbara and her tenacious spirit and drive – from sunrise shift to Jolly Pets she is what we love about our down beach neighbors.