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Rock Star Multi-Unit Franchisees Andy Schol and Jacqueline Venchi Continue to Expand Wild Birds Unlimited With Second Store

There are no signs of slowing down for this husband-wife duo when it comes to growing the Wild Birds Unlimited brand.

By 1851 Staff1851 Staff Contributions
SPONSORED 3:15PM 11/07/19

Franchisees Andy Schol and Jacqueline Venchi have experienced nothing but success since joining the Wild Birds Unlimited franchise family. With the recent opening of their second Atlanta, Georgia location, the husband-wife franchisee duo have now entered into owning a true enterprise.

Wild Birds Unlimited provides high-quality bird feeders and houses paired with the brand’s expertise on how to enjoy birds and nature. The birding and outdoor retail brand currently has over 340 locations throughout North America and has been setting its franchisees up for success since 1983. Schol and Venchi are just two examples of owners who are helping Wild Birds Unlimited grow across the country.

As if opening a second Wild Birds Unlimited store wasn’t enough excitement for Schol and Venchi, the pair was also recently nominated and named Franchisee Rock Stars by Franchise Business Review

“We feel really good about Wild Birds Unlimited recognizing us and that’s just kudos to the franchise,” said Schol.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing prior to Schol’s journey with Wild Birds Unlimited. In January of 2010, Schol was laid off from his job and finding work was nothing short of a challenge. While Schol was on the hunt for a new career, Venchi—who had been working as a part-time employee for Wild Birds Unlimited on and off for 10 years—soon heard about a new business opportunity. 

In May of 2010, Schol and Venchi learned that the owners of a Wild Birds Unlimited in Alpharetta, Georgia had plans to retire and sell their location. With Schol’s background in retail and training and Venchi’s knowledge of the brand, there was no better opportunity—the two bought the store.

Within the first year of acquiring the location, Schol and Venchi moved their store and opened 11 months later. While the two had just become first-time franchisees of Wild Birds Unlimited, Venchi wasted no time on raising the idea of opening another location.

“Jacqueline was insistent that, as a long-term goal and for retirement planning, we open a second store down the road,” said Schol.

Before opening their second Wild Birds Unlimited, Schol underwent franchise training in February of 2018. On June 1, 2019, their new store was up and running in a neighboring city of Roswell. 

According to Schol, when there’s a chance to open a new Wild Birds Unlimited store, the franchise is nothing but helpful and teaches you the ropes to be successful. 

“When there’s an opportunity to open a new store, Wild Birds Unlimited’s Chief Development Officer Paul Pickett is all over it,” said Schol. “He gave us so much support and he was always willing to talk about any issues we had and helped us review the lease, and his understanding of crafting that final lease agreement was invaluable.”

Schol and Venchi have stuck with the Wild Birds Unlimited thanks to the brand’s “lovely customers,” who demonstrate a real passion for the brand and who are always rooting for the franchisees. 

“I was in our Alpharetta store the other day and our best customer was like, ‘Where the heck have you been?’” said Schol. “She was upset because she hadn’t seen me in a couple of months because we’ve been so busy. It’s nice being acknowledged by our customers.”

The Roswell location has only been open for a few months and is already exceeding Schol’s and Venchi’s expectations in terms of cash flow and revenue. Based on the success of their first two locations, the couple hopes to open a third location in the near future. Another reason that Schol strongly believes in opening a third Wile Birds Unlimited is that he believes the stores are relatively recession-proof.

“People want comfort for their souls,” said Schol. “Our customers are willing to spend $40 to $50 on a bag of high-quality seed and enjoy the birds and nature. Most aren’t likely to go out and spend that in a restaurant. It’s a good model.”

For Schol and Venchi, there’s more to the business than just making money––the customers and the brand’s incredible values-driven culture make being a part of Wild Birds Unlimited that much more rewarding.

“We want to continue bringing joy through bird feeding,” said Schol. “So because of that, we’re sticking with Wild Birds Unlimited.”

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