Manuel and Anna Peña have teamed up with their daughter Amanda Peña Bustillos to bring the Wild Birds Unlimited brand to Dripping Springs, Texas.
For Manuel and Anna Peña—and their daughter Amanda—feeding and watching the birds in the backyard of their Dripping Springs, Texas home has always been a family activity. It’s a hobby they all share a passion for, and it’s something that they’ve been doing together for as long as they can remember. So, when the thought of turning that hobby into a career popped up, they decided to jump at the chance.
The idea first came to them after a conversation with one of their neighbors who had noticed that they had better luck than her when it came to attracting birds to their backyard. The neighbor asked them what their secret was. The answer was a simple one: Wild Birds Unlimited. That conversation was one that they had become used to—people were constantly asking the Peñas how they were able to bring birds to their yard. That’s when Manuel decided to look into opening up their own store.
Manuel’s suggestion came at just the right time. While Manuel had been retired from his job as an Austin police officer for years, his wife, Anna, was just retiring from her job as a pharmacist. Their daughter, Amanda, was also looking for something new to dive into that allowed her to capitalize on her experience in marketing and communications. Recognizing that they possessed complementary skill sets, the Pena’s saw the value in pursuing Wild Birds Unlimited as a family business.
“Everything just sort of fell into place. We all bring something to unique to the table, and we thought that it would turn into a great blend of skills if we opened up a store together,” said Amanda. “Plus, we knew from day one that the Dripping Springs community would be excited about Wild Birds Unlimited opening up a location here. We’re a really close-knit community that’s tied together by our passion for nature and the outdoors.”
The Peñas expectations were right—Wild Birds Unlimited’s new Dripping Springs location has been experiencing success and growth since it first opened up in the middle of September 2017. That’s partially due to the fact that they’re able to divide and conquer responsibilities that play on their individual strengths—while Amanda handles all communications initiatives, Anna handles the back end of the business and Manuel functions as the resident bird and product expert. However, the Peñas also credit their initial success with Wild Birds Unlimited to the brand’s strong support system and simple business model.
“Given that this is the first franchise and retail store that I’ve ever owned, I can’t compare it to anything else. But what I can say is that I can’t imagine working with a brand that’s more supportive than Wild Birds Unlimited. They go above and beyond to support us, and they’ve been as helpful as we could have ever wanted them to be,” said Manuel. “From their franchise support center to the products that the customers receive, everything about this brand is top of the line. And what’s continued to impress me throughout the entire experience is the fact that every other franchisee I’ve talked to shares a level of excitement and passion surrounding the brand. Everyone involved with Wild Birds Unlimited is helpful, encouraging and willing to do whatever they can to set you up for success.”
The Peñas are far from the only franchisees benefiting from the competitive advantages that Wild Birds Unlimited brings to the table—from its affordable initial investment that range of$125,978 to $199,172 to its franchise support center staff and ownership community, the brand’s business ownership opportunity is designed to position its franchisees for success. That’s why they’d encourage anyone else with a passion for nature and the outdoors to consider becoming a Wild Birds Unlimited franchisee.
“Deciding to open up a Wild Birds Unlimited franchise has been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. It’s been an overwhelmingly positive experience so far, and we’ve gotten to meet so many great people who we otherwise never would have crossed paths with. Plus, the fact that we get to do this together as a family is so special. Our customers can tell that we’re having a great time, which then makes their experience even better,” said Anna. “Our passion for bird feeding and bird and nature watching in general has brought us together as a family for so many years. We’re so grateful for the opportunity that we now have as franchisees to help others enhance or discover that passion themselves.”