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Wild Birds Unlimited Franchisee Signs New Location in New York After Doubling Sales at His Current Store

Despite the pandemic’s effect on the economy, Matt Kosty brought sales at his Fayetteville, New York location to new heights while reaching new customers.

In 2018, Matt Kosty took over the Fayetteville, New York location of Wild Birds Unlimited in an effort to take his career in a new direction. After roughly 20 years working for corporations, he was ready to be his own boss and join the franchising world. Now, having doubled his sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, he’s opening a brand new location on the west side of metro-Syracuse in Camillus to expand his customer base.

Growing up in a franchising family, Kosty knows a thing or two about running a successful franchise location. His father owned and operated multiple McDonald’s location throughout his childhood. That’s where Kosty says he learned first-hand the benefits of the franchise industry. After researching a multitude of interesting brands, Kosty chose Wild Birds Unlimited. The nature-focused brand checked all the boxes he needed to feel confident buying in, and the location in his neighborhood just happened to be up for sale.

“It was really serendipitous how I came to own my current location,” said Kosty. “After doing some digging, I made a call to see about franchising with the brand in the Rochester area. It turned out that the owner in Fayetteville was looking to sell and, given it was right in my own backyard, I saw the opportunity to buy in.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic in early March, Kosty noticed that people in his community were seeking refuge in their backyards during the lockdown. In that time, more and more customers were clicking-around on his location’s website to learn more about the nature they were seeing, particularly the birds. As cart sizes grew larger on average than before the pandemic, Kosty saw his sales increase by 46% from May to October — a $120,000 jump in total sales. The entrepreneur said his store’s success shows there’s a demand for Wild Birds Unlimited’s services and products, and the new Camillus location will help meet that demand.

“I don’t think there’s a value you can put on joy,” said Kosty. “There’s so much value in the services we bring to consumers, now more than ever. As people are looking into their backyards and seeing the wildlife that exists, we are able to supply that hobby and help them in their journeys to learn. At one point, I was making 14-15 deliveries to customers a night to meet demand. There’s so much to worry about these days, and we’re connecting people with a little bit of happiness in these difficult times.”

While many people might scoff at opening a new business during a global pandemic, Kosty says it's necessary. The growth he’s seen in the past months demonstrates a need in the region for another location. An additional location not only means giving people options on where to turn for their bird-viewing needs, but also means reaching a greater population of New Yorkers. Chief Development Officer of Wild Birds Unlimited Paul Pickett said franchisees like Kosty who are conscious of these trends keep the brand growing.

"Matt joined the WBU system just over 2 years ago, purchasing our Fayetteville, New York store and growing that store to new heights,” said Pickett. “Even amid the pandemic, Matt has seen  double digit growth at this location. As he signs this new lease down the road in Camillus, we’re confident that he will have a great deal of success as he reaches new bird enthusiasts in the area.”

2020 has brought its set of challenges, but Kosty says he knows the timing is right for Camillus. With the immense support Wild Birds Unlimited’s franchise support center has provided franchisees throughout the pandemic, Kosty is confident in his new investment.

“The franchise support center has done a great job in really being there for me during the pandemic and answering all my questions in the process,” said Kosty. “I’d recommend to anyone looking to invest in a franchise to find one that is as supportive as Wild Birds Unlimited. They not only put their customers first, but ensure their franchisees success. We’re different from other brands; that’s the bottom line.”

The cost to open a Wild Birds Unlimited franchise ranges from $170,382 to $281,606, including the franchise fee. To learn more about franchising with Wild Birds Unlimited, please visit

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