Opening a Reptile and Amphibian Supply Business in Downtown East Norman | New

Andy Vaughn developed a deep knowledge of reptiles and amphibians throughout his life – with snakes, lizards and scorpions as childhood pets and a continuous accumulation of knowledge about them. Everything is closed decades later.

Following the purchase and relocation of a Washington-based herpetology supply store in April, he and his wife, Mona, now hope to help residents of Normandy and beyond – from enthusiasts to professionals.

For more than 30 years, herpetologists and reptile keepers around the world have sought supplies and expertise from The Bean Farm, which began in Carnation, Washington, in 1991.

Although their business is new to Norman, Norman’s family history as hematology experts is old.

Andy’s grandfather, Charles Carpenter, was a world renowned herpetologist.

According to the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, “Chuck” was known for his work in behavioral studies of reptiles and received numerous awards, including Oklahoma Scientist of the Year in 1991.

“My uncle is also a herpetologist and my mother is a professor of biology at the university [the University of Oklahoma]“, Vaughn said.

With a family absorbed in science, Andy said it was only natural that he developed an early fascination with animals, especially amphibians and reptiles.

Mona said Chuck’s studies paved the way for her children’s professional careers in ecology and herpetology and were an ongoing inspiration to Andy and herself.

Through networking during the COVID-19 pandemic, Andy and Mona spoke with Paula and Giovani Fagioli.

Residents of Carnation, Washington started Bean Farm as an e-commerce business in 1991, but sought to retire and sought to sell the herpetology business.

It was an easy decision that seemed quite fortuitous, and the company is now headquartered at 105 S. Porter Ave.

Mona takes care of marketing and administrative tasks, while Andy takes care of the back-end, fulfills orders and provides expertise.

Mona said that while they’re not officially open as a storefront, they’ve had customers come from all over the state looking for bulbs or reptile food.

“Herpetology is, of course, very niche. However, there is good demand for it across the United States, and we are seeing a lot of interest here in the Normandy region,” Mona said.

For now, it only functions as a warehouse for reptile and amphibian supplies, which they sell to zoos, professional reptile keepers, and enthusiasts. But Mona and Andy have a vision for the Bean Farm to become so much more.

In the spring, they hope to have a storefront connected to the warehouse. With synergies being created in the eastern part of downtown Norman, Andy said they wanted to have a community space, where others could meet.

“If we had a patio for reptile enthusiasts to hang out and have an educational aspect, sometimes we’ll have academics coming in to speak for, like, Art Walk. We want to be part of it,” Andy said.

To browse or buy supplies and learn more, visit beanfarm.com.

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