Wild Bird and Biggby
Haanpaa, who bought the franchise from Wayne Baker last summer, estimates that 30 percent of her customers are serious, muck-around-in-the-wild birders. The rest are more like her. She sells more than 100 different bird feeders, from a simple $10 plastic one that holds a handful of seeds to a $350 copper-topped version that's made from recycled milk jugs and holds up to ten pounds. She carries a wide selection of birdseed, including special blends for various breeds. Other products include binoculars, field guides, birdbaths, nesting boxes, books, videos, T-shirts, sweatshirts, and gifts. She also plans to host regular workshops for kids on how to build a birdhouse.
It's Haanpaa's second Wild Bird franchise. She quit her job as a project manager at a web firm to open the first in Brighton in 2007. She says she'd always wanted to own her own business, and her lifelong interest in birds made Wild Bird Center seem like a good fit. She says it's a good business to be in these days: "In this economy, it's something you can do with your kids that's close to home, and it makes your backyard exciting."