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Franchise Influencers: Paul Pickett, Chief Development Officer and Executive VP of Franchising, Wild Birds Unlimited

As part of our annual Influencer Issue, 1851 Franchise has enlisted the help of the franchise community to compile a list of the top people making moves in the franchise industry.

By Savannah BilboStaff Writer
9:09AM 03/14/23

Paul Pickett

Chief Development Officer, Executive VP of Franchising

Paul Pickett has a masters degree in ornithology, the study of birds, but when it came time to work in a lab, he hated it. A stroke of luck had him meet Jim and Nancy Carpenter, the founding family of Wild Birds Unlimited**, the 300-plus-unit backyard bird-feeding franchise, at a party. 

Nearly 32 years later, Pickett still works closely with the Carpenters and his chosen field of study: birds.

As the chief development officer of Wild Birds Unlimited, Pickett knows what to look for in a potential franchisee. Under his watch, birds of a feather have flocked together as the franchise continues to grow.

About Wild Birds Unlimited: Wild Birds Unlimited is the largest specialty retailer of backyard bird feeding supplies and products. They have over 350 franchised locations across the U.S. and Canada, all owned by people who are passionate about the hobby of backyard bird feeding. Their owners are passionate people; they’re passionate about the hobby of backyard bird feeding and their businesses. They love nature. They love wild birds, and they love sharing their enthusiasm about both with their customers. Wild Birds Unlimited owners are their local communities’ backyard bird feeding specialists and a premiere source for nature information, as well as quality products. But who they are goes far beyond the items they sell. It’s their owners’ commitment to their customers that distinguishes them from other retailers, a fact that makes them very proud. They enjoy helping their customers understand birds and nature, swapping stories about the latest bird sightings, and seeing other people share their excitement.

Total Locations: 350

Investment Range: $197,919–$325,763

Franchise Website:

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.