Wild Birds Unlimited
WHY I BOUGHT
Wild Birds Unlimited Franchisees to Take Over a Second Store in Houston
Robbie and Richard Edie—owners of the Cypress, Texas Wild Birds Unlimited location—have acquired a second Houston-area store after many years of waiting.
The Edies’ journey with Wild Birds Unlimited started back in 2010 in Springfield, Missouri. Richard was visiting his mom when he stopped by a Wild Birds Unlimited for the first time to pick up some bird seed for her. “I immediately thought everything about it was amazing,” said Richard. “When we got back into Houston, I found out it was a franchise. We were not out franchise shopping. We just fell in love with the business itself.”
Since he was a child, Richard has always enjoyed backyard bird feeding and birdwatching as a hobby. “He grew up in Missouri and has been doing it forever,” said Robbie. “Slowly, over the years, he got me involved in it. I enjoyed the birds and I enjoyed watching him, but I didn’t know much about the birds themselves, but it’s something that we have enjoyed doing together.”
The Edies immediately started to look into franchising in Houston, but the timing just wasn’t quite right. “We had an opportunity, but the deal just never quite came to fruition, so we took a few more years to go back to our corporate jobs. Four years later, Chief Development Officer Paul Pickett reached out to us again and asked us if we were still interested. In 2014, we were able to close on our first store in Cypress,” Richard said.
Robbie went on to say that while there has been a huge learning curve since joining Wild Birds Unlimited and going from a casual birdwatcher to a bird expert in her area, the entire experience has been wonderful. “When we purchased the first store in 2014, I left my corporate job and went into the business full time,” Robbie said. “Richard was still in his corporate role, but still doing a lot of night and weekend work.”
As the husband-and-wife team continued to grow their successful store, they always had a second location on the radar. “A second store was always part of our long-term business plan,” said Richard. When the opportunity arose to purchase the Houston location, the Edies’ jumped on it.
Since October 31, 2019, the Edies have been proud owners of the Houston, Texas Wild Birds Unlimited. They spent the holidays getting to know their new clientele and began renovations in the New Year.
Richard went on to say that they couldn’t be happier with the path they chose. “This was a retirement plan for us,” said Richard. “It’s an opportunity to do something that's ours in a business that we love. The cash flow opportunities are better and we have such great support from the franchise itself.”
The Edies’ grand re-opening for the Houston location is planned for February 22, 2020. “We want to be as involved as possible in every aspect of this business. We're on the franchise advisory council and we're really invested in our employee's quality of life,” said Richard. “It’s such a great culture to be a part of, and it really feels like a local business.”