On Friday 9th September I made a long overdue visit to Selective Koi Sales (SKS) which must now be one of the oldest running Koi dealers in the UK having been importing Koi since 1980.  The picture below is from May 1988’s BKKS Magazine, and there are few things in there that remain today, athough i did note Dave Brown was chairman of the South East Section, as he is still today!

Selective Koi Sales advert from BKKS magazine 1988

Selective Koi Sales advert from BKKS magazine 1988

If you are a hobbyist in the UK then you have probably directly or indirectly bought something that has passed through the hands of the team at SKS for not only are they a well established retail outlet, they are also one of the main wholesalers supplying the UK Koi trade, offering both retail and trade customers next day delivery on a range of approximately 2000 products.

Selective Koi Sales is situated in Norfolk, at the same address as in the advert above, a few miles north of Norwich.  I’m not sure how I’ve managed to never visit SKS previously having spent several holidays in Norfolk in years gone by and done a considerable amount of driving around the county.  Click here for Google Map of SKS location.

Map showing location of SKS

Map showing location of SKS

SKS sign

SKS sign

SKS is situated at the rear of a residential bungalow, although this is certainly no ‘back garden dealer’, indeed the bungalow is now part converted into office space and the HQ of SKS.  The bungalow is home to Cath Pye, wife of the late founder of SKS and continues to run the business with Andrew Chatten who was close friends with the family.  It has to be said that SKS certainly has the feel of a family run business.

Selective Koi Sales

Selective Koi Sales

The garden contains several well established landscaped ponds which contain stocks for sale, athough Chris Giles who was showing me around was quick to point out it was a bad time of year to see it because of the lack of stock at this late stage of the season.  Andrew and Chris will soon be off to Japan for the harvest season and to select new Koi as they have done for many years with their agent Shunichi Yoshida of Yoshida Koi Farm.  Yoshida san is one of the senior board members of the All Japan Nishikigoi Promotion Association or Shinkokai as it is also known.  SKS are Shinkokai members, and Andrew has judged at the All Japan Koi Show on a couple of occassions.

Landscaped display pond

Landscaped display pond

Cloud trees for sale

Cloud trees for sale

Hand feeding a Chagoi in one of the display ponds

Hand feeding a Chagoi in one of the display ponds

Andrew feeding Koi

Andrew feeding Koi

There are 2 dry goods buildings, the smaller one containing items such as food, medication and pumps.


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Another long standing relationship SKS have had in Japan is with Ryuichi Yoshida of Japan Pet Design (JPD), manufacturers of the popular range of foods which includes Medicarp and Yamato.  SKS are UK importers and distributers for JPD foods.

JPD Foods

JPD Foods

Dry good on display in retail shop

Dry good on display in retail shop

Dry good on display in retail shop

Dry good on display in retail shop

Shinkokai membership placque and All Japan Show commemorating Andrew Chatten judging

Shinkokai membership placque and All Japan Show commemorating Andrew Chatten judging

The other dry goods building contains larger items, including a wide range of different filter systems.

Display room for filters and larger items

Display room for filters and larger items

The display ponds at SKS are well established although all have undergone various updates over the years.  The ponds serve not only as a place to display Koi for sale, they also act as demonstration/prooving grounds for the wide range of filtration options that are available on the market for customers, thus enabling them to see them, and even try them out.  This is one of the real values of visiting a proper dealer, as opposed to shopping from behind a computer.

Oase Drum/Bio filter and Bubblebeads running display pond

Oase Drum/Bio filter and Bubblebeads running display pond

I wrote about the Oase drum and moving bed filters last week following my visit to Gatwick Koi – http://nishikigoi.life/2016/09/11/visit-gatwick-koi/.  The same unit received equal praise from Chris, and indeed also the excellent back up service that is offered by Oase to customers when required.

Oase Drum/Bio filter running display pond

Oase Drum/Bio filter running display pond

The system below is what Chris felt would be their top of the range recommendation for someone in the market for such a system.  A large stainless steel constructed drum filter feeding a large bubblebead unit.  This system is completely automated, including the wash cycle for the drum and the backwash for the bead filter.  Total cost of such a system is somewhere around £8000.

Large drum fllter and bubblebead running display ponds

Large drum fllter and bubblebead running display ponds

Drum filter cleaning screen

Drum filter cleaning screen

As mentioned above, Selective Koi Sales pride themselves on carrying around 2000 products lines in stock, available for next day delivery throughout the UK to trade and retail customers, via the phone of their website – http://www.selectivekoisales.co.uk/.


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A few minutes drive away from the main site is the SKS warehouse where the majority of stocks are held.

Warehouse stocks

Warehouse stocks

Warehouse stocks

Warehouse stocks

Being distributor for JPD foods means a huge volume passing through, all of which is store in sealed containers to ensure it stays fresh and safe from the nibbling teeth of mice and other vermin.  Chris recalled the very first import they made many years ago, and when delivered it filled just a small part of the container.  Even so the volume seemed huge and they wondered how they would ever sell it all.  JPD foods are now well established as one of the leading brands of food on the market worldwide and this lot won’t hang around for long these days.

Container of JPD food

Container of JPD food

As well as wholesaling dry goods, SKS also import and supply Koi to the trade as well, like their retail stocks, all fully quarantined in a seperate area to the rear of the garden.

 

Murata Koi Farm Kohaku feeding in quarantine pond

Murata Koi Farm Kohaku feeding in quarantine pond

As I mentioned after my visit to Gatwick Koi – http://nishikigoi.life/2016/09/11/visit-gatwick-koi/ – quarantine is a necessary part of being a Koi importer/handler in 2016, something very much concurred with at SKS, indeed there is a large sign on the wall stating the importance of it.

Years ago it was normal for Koi to be imported and sold immediately they arrived, customers, both retail and trade, would be waiting at all hours of day or night to get first dibs on the newly imported Koi.  Those days are a thing of the past and Chris stated that with the strict quarantine rules they place on themselves the long term benefits are obvious.  Historically there would be an ongoing battle with treating damaged Koi.  Nowadays, with the Koi being allowed to rest and regain their strength following shipment, and before anyone starts netting and bowling them, such problems are largely a thing of the past.


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You can catch up with the guys from SKS at the forthcoming All England Koi Show – http://www.koi-clubs.com/southeast/  – where JPD are the main sponsor.  You can also meet Ryuichi Yoshida (CEO of JPD), at the show and ask any questions you may have regarding JPD products.

If you find yourself in Norfolk, or indeed fancy a day out, put SKS on your ‘to visit’ list, just a few miles further on is some of Britains most beautiful places in the Norfolk Broads or the Norfolk coastline.

See more about SKS on the website – http://www.selectivekoisales.co.uk/ – or Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/selectivekoisales/.


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