Wild Birds Unlimited to hold grand opening in Florence
FLORENCE, S.C. – Approximately a year ago, Art and Lisa Martin had no intention of being a part of the bird-feeding and bird-watching industry in general or owning a Wild Birds Unlimited franchise in particular.
In fact, they were in Atlanta at the International Gift Show trying to grow their business, Carolina Wren, which makes a line of soy wax candles, diffusers, lotions and soaps.
It was a company that they ran while they both held full-time jobs. Art worked in the HVAC industry and Lisa worked as a pharmacist. It was at AmericasMart in Atlanta where they were approached by several retailers who owned a Wild Birds Unlimited franchise as well as other independent retailers who promoted backyard bird feeding and bird watching.
“Having a Carolina Wren on our label made our product a natural fit for the gift departments in Wild Birds Unlimited,” Lisa said.
The Martins were so impressed with the franchise owners they were meeting through Carolina Wren, they investigated opening a shop themselves. Their new store in Florence will hold its grand opening on Saturday.
“We were looking for new careers that we could enjoy not only up to, but through our retirement years,” Art said. “We now have daily encounters with great folks in our area as we help bring joy to people’s lives through backyard bird feeding and watching.”
During their research, the Martins discovered that backyard bird feeding and bird watching is the second most popular hobby in the United States and Canada, second only to gardening, and this hobby generates more than $5 billion annually.
As the Martins continued to fill orders and work with retailers from Wild Birds Unlimited, they began to notice a trend. The owners were pleasant, kind and gracious, and they loved their work. Art and Lisa realized they wanted to be a part of this, so they decided to contact Wild Birds Unlimited about the possibility of obtaining a franchise in the Florence area.
With more than 340 locations nationwide, Wild Birds Unlimited is ranked No. 2 in the nation for overall franchisee satisfaction. This satisfaction is due in part to the lengthy vetting and interview process.
Both Art and Lisa agreed that one of the things that most attracted them to Wild Birds Unlimited, besides the product line, was the transparency of the company and its willingness to share numbers and contact information with other owners.
“They didn’t have anything to hide and encouraged us to talk to any owner we wanted to,” Art said, “and they never said they were going to do something that they didn’t follow through on. There were never any uh-oh moments.”
“We are very excited to share the hobby of backyard bird feeding with the residents of the entire Pee Dee area,” Lisa said. “This hobby is second only in popularity to gardening and is enjoyed by over 53 million Americans. Talking to customers, hearing their stories and helping solve their bird-feeding problems is what I enjoy most during the day. We are able to offer a higher level of service and more time to our customers than they receive in other retail settings. “
“We’re the new home of the best bird food in town,” Art said. “Stop by and see the new store; we’ve brought nature indoors and created a very calming, relaxing environment. Since we opened in early November, we have been thrilled at the response from the local community. It is encouraging to meet so many people who truly enjoy feeding and watching their birds.”
Wild Birds Unlimited carries a variety of seeds and seed blends that have been specially formulated to attract birds in this region. Seed blends are mixtures of seeds and nuts that numerous birds will eat. Seed will be delivered every week, so customers get only the freshest bird food possible.
In addition, the retailer will carry bird feeders, bird houses and specialty garden and gift items not found elsewhere.
Wild Birds Unlimited will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday. It will include nature talks, prize drawings, food trucks, give-a-ways and product demonstrations.
Grand opening activities will include:
>> A free bird feeder starter kit to all customers, while supplies last.
>> A falconry demonstration by Tyler Wright with live raptors.
>> A presentations by local bird and nature experts.
>> Drawings for a squirrel-proof feeder, a basic set-up hanging hardware pole system, free seed for a year and gift certificates to local businesses.
>> Taco the Town food truck.
>> A special guest appearance by DeeDee, the Chickadee, Wild Birds Unlimited’s mascot.
Wild Birds Unlimited is in Florence at 2151 W. Evans St., Suite E, in the West Gate Square, between Honey Baked Ham and 9 Round.