Bear Path Acres Animal Educational Center

Published 9:39 pm Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Name of Business: Bear Path Acres Animal Educational Center

Street address: 34574 Smiths Ferry Road, Franklin. Route 258 at the Virginia/North Carolina state line.

Phone number: (757) 516-8774

Operating hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. We are closed the months of December, January and February to focus on providing school presentations. Our goal is to reach every child in the community.

E-mail address:

Web site:

Nature of business: Your hometown licensed zoo

Principle operator: Debbie Jeter/President

Number of employees: One full time, plus our fantastic volunteers:Tim Bradshaw, Kyle Sutton, Alex & Amanda Nodine, Kathy Olson, Amy Lehman, Dan and Jamie Humphrey. We need a lot more!

How’s business: Our opening celebration was Saturday, Sept. 27. We had a moonwalk, turtle races, Smokey the Bear, plus much more.

One thing YOU wish everyone knew about your business: Bear Path Acres is a community project. We don’t get federal, state or local government funding. It is through the generous contributions from the community that we will continue to grow. We are currently looking for sponsors for our upcoming exhibits.

Something you offer that a customer won’t find elsewhere: An American bison, Watusi steer from Africa, emus from Australia, kinkajou from South America We are planning hands-on day camps for next summer.

Advice to young entrepreneurs: Find your passion and give it 110 percent. Remember “Every great accomplishment is simply a dream that’s learned to spread its wings”.

First job: Cashier at Arbys

You role model (in business or in life generally): My dad taught me to be dedicated to what I am doing, to work hard and be honest. My Mother supportd me and pushed me forward. God gave me the vision of Bear Path Acres Animal Educational Center and guided me through this project.

The key to a successful business is: To be honest, dedicated, knowledgable and provide great customer relations