We keep, breed and sell investment quality animals for all budgets and tastes, including everything needed for their captive care.
We currently supply animals, enclosures, lighting, supplies, and feeders to retail and wholesale customers all over Canada, including numerous stores and breeders. We offer delivery to all points in southwestern Ontario, and shipping anywhere in Canada. We also put on educational shows, and perform at birthday parties, and special events.
- To produce genetically superior, investment quality animals for every budget and taste, using the highest standards of captive care.
- To provide superior quality feeder insects and rodents, reliably and affordably, to our customers nationwide.
- To provide exceptional pre and post-sale support to our customers.
- To educate the general public about exotic pets, help people overcome their phobias, and inspire people to learn more about animals and the natural world in general.
- To consistently provide a level of customer service that goes above and beyond our customers’ expectations.
Meet Our Team
Johnny has been keeping and working with animals since he was a small child. The majority of his childhood was spent outdoors in the vast wilderness of British Columbia, where his affinity for nature and the animals that inhabit it first took hold. He began keeping exotic pets as a young boy, starting with the local species of Snakes, Turtles, Frogs, Salamanders, Spiders and Scorpions that he would catch and bring back to his childhood home in Penticton, B.C. He added his first pet store acquisition; Green Anoles, when he was 7 years old, turning his fascination with understanding captive care into a near obsession.
In 1997, now living in Coquitlam, B.C. with his wife Sherri and their young daughter Katie, he began amassing a large and diverse breeding collection of exotic animals. He quickly made a name for himself, even though it was still just a hobby, and expanded his collection to include the various feeder rodents that were required by him and his rapidly growing list of customers. In 1999, now living back in Penticton, he accepted an invitation that would inadvertently cause another obsession to take hold; educating people about exotic pets and helping them overcome their irrational phobias.
Due to his unique ability to connect with children through animals, a friend asked Johnny if he would be willing to bring some of the animals from his collection to her children’s preschool to put on an educational show. With the help of his wife Sherri, this first show was a huge success, even drawing coverage from the local newspaper. It helped set the stage for the years to come, and the shows to follow, and it made him realize just how uninformed people still were about exotic pets and the people that keep them.
In early 2011, his good friend Rob St. John, who at that time owned a feeder’s supply business, asked Johnny to help him form a new company that specialized in producing captive bred exotic animals for the retail and wholesale pet industry. Since Rob already had a great reputation with numerous retail and wholesale customers, stemming from his years supplying them with feeders, and Johnny had the knowledge and skill necessary to keep, breed, and produce the animals that would be required, it seemed like a perfect fit. In May of 2011 they formed a partnership and Canadian Specialty Exotics was born. They began building their fledgling business by purchasing a breeding pair of Dumeril’s boas, and in November of 2011 their first litter of baby Dumeril’s boas were born. Baby Carpet pythons, Colombian boa constrictors, and Ball pythons would soon follow, and their growing list of retail and wholesale customers that were purchasing the babies provided the incentive to expand even further.
On August 15th, 2014, they incorporated their business, adding Sherri as a 1/3 owner, and Canadian Specialty Exotics Ltd. was launched. The appeal of teaching people about animals, and helping them overcome their phobias is still a tremendous motivator for Johnny, and he relishes each and every opportunity that he is given to do so. He has succeeded in keeping and breeding dozens of species of exotic animals in captivity, and has amassed a considerable wealth of knowledge and experience in doing so.
As the President and co-owner of Canadian Specialty Exotics Ltd., he manages all aspects of the company, its’ employees, and its’ business practices, including the daily operations of their breeding facility. This includes implementing and refining his captive care/captive breeding practices and techniques, management of the entire collection of animals, acquisitions of new species, genetics, and bloodlines, and the design, repair and construction of their enclosures and equipment. He is also in charge of photography and videography, marketing, putting on educational shows and events, retail sales, and customer service, as well as planning and directing the continued growth, expansion, and future direction of the company.
He intends to become a driving force behind altering peoples’ opinions about exotic animals and the people that keep them, as well as continuing to produce an ever expanding variety of the highest quality animals possible.
Sherri was first introduced to exotic pets by her husband Johnny in 1995 when they purchased an Albino Ferret as a pet for their young family. When Johnny first began amassing his breeding collection of exotic animals in 1997, she was initially nervous around some of them, and had quite a severe phobia regarding insects and arachnids. Johnny quickly helped her overcome her fears, and she soon became an integral part of maintaining the collection. Over the years, she took on more and more responsibility with the animals, and subsequently amassed a considerable amount of knowledge and skill.
In 2001, now living in Amherstburg, Ontario, she began working for a small local pet store where she was quickly promoted to manager due to her superior customer service skills and the vast amount of knowledge that she had gained over the years. After several years there, she was hired by Pet Valu to manage a newly opened store in Essex, Ontario. Her success in launching the new store, coupled with her expertise in management, lead to her being promoted to manage a much larger store in LaSalle, Ontario, where she has thrived. She has since become a go to person for Pet Valu when it comes to training staff, training management, and turning problem stores around.
As the Corporate Secretary and co-owner of Canadian Specialty Exotics Ltd., Sherri isn’t as involved in the day to day business dealings as Johnny and Rob are, but she is an essential part of the company nonetheless. She continues to serve an essential role in the maintenance of the collection, as well as being the voice of reason when Johnny decides to add to their always growing collection of breeder and show animals.
Rob St. John
Rob developed a passion for keeping and studying animals while growing up in his hometown of Windsor, Ontario. As a young boy he loved to explore the nearby creeks and ditches, catching Frogs, Toads, Crayfish, and Snakes, often bringing them home. He quickly became fascinated with amphibians, and devoted himself to learning as much as he could about the life cycles of the local Frog and Toad species.
At the age of 10, he purchased his first exotic pets; Green Anoles, from a local pet store. Upon starting high school at the age of 13, Rob enrolled in the Junior Achievement entrepreneurial program, and all of the business education courses that Walkerville Collegiate Institute, which he attended from 1994 – 2000, offered.
In 2003, he began keeping and breeding Newts and Salamanders, which by this time had become his favourites among all animals, amphibians included. Being displeased with the selection and quality of the feeders that he found at the local pet stores, he decided to open a business that would supply top quality feeders to pet stores, breeders, and retail customers all across Canada. Due to the knowledge that he had accrued from the numerous business education courses that he had completed, he quickly grew his business into a profitable one. It didn’t take long for him to become well known for reliably and consistently providing top quality feeders, including their associated supplies, to his customers, and as a result of his success, he was able to hire employees and incorporate his business.
In early 2011, he approached his good friend Johnny Mathias with the idea to team up and form a new company that would specialize in producing captive bred exotic animals for the retail and wholesale pet industry. The partnership seemed to be a perfect match, and in May of 2011, their new business; Canadian Specialty Exotics was launched.
As the Treasurer and co-owner of Canadian Specialty Exotics Ltd., Rob manages all aspects of the feeders division of the company, including the daily operations of their feeder’s facility. This includes the ordering, importation, sorting, packaging, transport, sales and delivery of the feeders, as well as the implementation of all of his associated standards and practices when training and supervising their employees. He also manages their retail and wholesale customer accounts, keeps track of the companies’ finances, and helps with the maintenance of the collection at the breeding facility.