Who we are
Minibeasts Enterprises was first developed as a hobby to supply primarily scorpions to a small number of pet stores in Victoria. However stores identified a need for a reliable supplier of insects to feed the increasing reptile trade and more effort was put towards producing live food than supplying actual pets.
Phillip Kerr – Hi, there. I am described by my sons as a ‘Scientist Farmer’, I am from a farming and commercial fishing background. I came to Australia from New Zealand about 20 years ago. I came here to complete a Masters in Aquaculture at Deakin University and went on to undertake a Doctorate in Fish Ecology, with the intention of farming Whitebait (galaxias maculatus). But then fate intervened where I was introduced to Kate!
Kate Kerr – And isn’t he lucky! I grew up along the coast of the Mornington Peninsula and was always happiest at the beach or in the bush. I love “rescuing” any animal or insect that looks even remotely like it might not have a home. I met Phillip at Deakin University, while undertaking a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Catchment Management. I then spent some time in retail where I loved the act of serving people (but not being their servant!)
The real Minibeasts – Oliver and Hunter Kerr
Certainly, born into the business! Almost 10 years ago, 2 weeks after we purchased Minibeasts, Oliver was discovered hiding in Mum’s tummy! Both Oliver & Hunter are well versed in leading tours of the facility to visitors, and already have their own pets in their bedrooms. Their local school has no option but to deal with all manners of reptiles, amphibians or insects that appear for show and tell! Oliver has decided he wants to be a Scientist farmer like Dad and Hunter at this point of his life just never wants to leave home .
Our Journey thus far...
Over the last 10 years, we have dedicated ourselves to serving primarily Pet Shops throughout Victoria and pride ourselves on having the best quality products the market has seen.
Minibeasts Enterprises was first started as a hobby-based business, primarily supplying a few local shops with excess crickets from a scorpion and frog collections needs. This was then sold to the Moosbrugger family who really boosted this into a small business and created our signature product, ‘the bucket of bugs’.
We were buying crickets for frogs and lizards at home direct from the Moosburgers and always told them if they wanted to sell, we would be interested.
Wanting to retire, the Moosburgers sold the business to us in January 2012. From this point forward, we practically lived at Minibeasts! We do not regard the business as work, it is a giant project that makes us laugh, cry and gives us so many challenges and rewards, it is awesome!
As you can see from the photos of us attending the Victorian Herpetological Society (VHS) expos over the years, we have evolved!
Have you ever been in the position dealing with a person or buying a product, that they have the mentality ‘for me to win, you have to lose’?
We are not fans of this way of thinking and have always looked at the way we run our business and lives towards a win/win scenario.
Below are some of the win/wins we have created.
The animals who consume our products
How do we create the win part for them?
- Nutritional quality – we do not use low quality or limit food to our insects and rodents, ensuring they are of the highest possible nutritional quality before they are fed to your animal.
- Old/week stock – we do not harvest eggs from the crickets we sell, this means you get a cricket full of nutritious parcels of energy going directly to your herp.
- Logistics (Live animals) – we deliver personally to pet shops in our own vans, which contributes to our live insects surviving considerably longer than our competitors. Standard logistics companies are not equipped to give the animals the care they really require.
- More Insects per pack – because of the factors above, we are able to have up to double the number of insects per pack than the industry standard, this means more insects available for your herp and increased activity and mental stimulation.
We don’t use the word customers at Minibeasts Enterprises, we prefer to use Clients.
A customer, is a person who purchases a commodity or service.
A client, is a person who is under the protection of another.
The difference in the meaning is massive to us. We do not sell people a product just to make the largest one-time profit. We work to understand what people really need and have focused on ensuring our business serves that need. We want to have a long-term relationship with our clients! That is why we have some Pet shops who have remained clients of ours for over 10 years now!
The Animal Custodians (The general public)
How do we create the win part for them?
- Peace of mind – around the quality and quantity of our products, whether you want to Breed or just enjoy having reptiles, we have you covered.
- Unique products – Products that help you both care for the livefood you are feeding before it goes to your herp and allows you to grow your herp collection without breaking the bank (Bucket of Bugs)
Pet shops (mainly independent businesses)
How do we create the win part for Pet shops?
- Stock that stays alive for longer means less lost stock, costs, customer complaints and higher margins.
- Products not available in other stores (eg, Bucket of Bugs, King Mealworms, a unique point of difference)
- Regular deliveries in our own vans, gives a reliable service and more personal connection to our business.
- Education of products, selling advice, marketing material.
- A more personalised service as a supplier = stronger relationships
Our Team, Our Community
How do we create the win part within our team and community?
We have changed several job roles to allow school parents to get back to work = being more a part of our local community and providing almost twice the level of employment than regular business models.
Employing school kids during the school holidays to give them opportunities and allow our school parents time off to spend with their families.
Allowing Phillip to fulfil his passion as a Scientist Farmer 😊
For over 10 years we have provided Sponsorship for the Victorian Herpetological Society through
- Reptile expos
- 2021 Conference (thanks COVID)
Sponsorship of the Serendip wildlife sanctuary
- Weekly supplies of insects for various wildlife including the eastern barred bandicoot project
- support with donations of food or insects for class lessons
For more than a decade we have been members of the Victorian Herpetological Society (VHS).
The VHS was formed over 30 years ago to bring together like minded reptile enthusiasts. The VHS is a non-profit organisation dedicated to learning and sharing all we can about reptiles.
The VHS organises guest speakers to share their reptile knowledge and experience at several meetings held throughout the year. These talks are open to the public and are a great way to meet other reptile enthusiasts and learn more about keeping and breeding reptiles in their native habitats.
Every year, we sponsor the VHS by attending the annual reptile expo. This is a great opportunity to talk to, and educate the public about our products and steer them towards our stockists. This event draws a crowd of close to 4,000 people.
Several staff of pet stores throughout Victoria attend the expo, along with close to 4,000+ members of the public. As a stockist, we would recommend attending, as it is a great opportunity to make connections with people in the industry and to get your name out there in the marketplace.
In 2021, we became the main sponsor for the VHS Reptile Conference, to be held at the Lilydale High School Reptile Centre, with 8 expert speakers to discuss animal husbandry and breeding to a planned 4-500 hobbyist group. Unfortunately like alot of events during Covid-19, this has been postponed for now.
Did you know?
For over 10 years, Minibeasts Enterprises has donated more than 20,000 large crickets weekly, to both the Mount Rothwell Biodiversity Interpretation Centre (the largest feral-predator-free ecosystem in Victoria) and Parks Victoria Serendip Sanctuary. These donated insects have been used to support threatened species breeding programs. Of special mention is the success of the Critically Endangered Eastern Barred Bandicoot breeding program, which has resulted in 100s of bandicoots now successfully released back into the Victorian countryside.
How do we create a win for our business? Minibeasts has over 30+ staff. We have moved several fulltime based jobs to allow for a more flexible workforce. As parents of young kids ourselves, we know the importance of having flexibility. We have created a ‘school parent’ friendly environment for those looking for work 1-5 days a week during school or kinder hours. Staff have a rotational leave system in place for school holidays and get to mix with Adults outside of their family bubble! This has been a game changer for us, our staff are more invested than ever before and our local community is stronger for it! This is a win/win!
A bucket list item for the Kerr family. Having one on one time with a critically endangered eastern barred bandicoot at the Serendip Wildlife Sanctuary. Knowing you have helped in a small way to preserve this or any species is rewarding beyond words.