December 14, 2011
Brunswick Forest

n the early 1990s, Dr. Rich Zielinski left his home in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, to attend college. After meeting his wife, he moved to North Carolina, where he earned his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from N.C. State. For the next eight years he practiced as a vet in the Piedmont-Triad area, but his in-laws’ home on Holden Beach kept calling to him and his wife. They finally took the plunge and moved to Leland, where Dr. Z, as he’s known to his patients’ owners, and his partner Dr. Patrick Terry opened Brunswick Forest Veterinary Hospital.

Q:  Why did you choose to start your business in 2011? And why Leland? 

“For a while my wife and I wanted to be on the coast,” says Dr. Z. “We visited her parents’ house on Holden Beach and thought the area had a lot to offer to us. On one trip down to visit them, our car broke down and as I was riding to Wilmington to get it fixed, I saw Brunswick Forest. I thought, ‘This is the perfect place for an office.’ So I did a little research and decided to call my partner, Patrick. Together we decided to open here. Opening in Leland was a no-brainer — it’s a growing area and the potential for more growth is huge — but opening in 2011, well, that was just timing.”

Q:  How many employees are there at Brunswick Forest Veterinary Hospital? 

“Right now we have two, in addition Dr. Terry and myself. Dr. Terry is only in the office occasionally right now, but in the coming year, we’re planning to grow the practice, hire another part-time employee and get Dr. Terry here full-time.”

Q:  What have been some of the challenges you’ve faced since opening? 

“The obvious challenge was the economy. With a slow economy, business was slower to pick up initially, but we’re moving over that hump. Another challenge was advertising. Where do we advertise? What do we say? How do we draw in customers? We had to learn this on the fly. Fortunately, our location in The Villages in Brunswick Forest puts us close to a lot of pets and pet owners and they’ve rewarded us with their business. As our reputation grows, we’re gaining new, happy clients.”

Article courtesy of North Brunswick Magazine