Business Spotlight: Wild Birds Unlimited to celebrate grand reopening

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Dan Payne and Cindy Croissant have made the Scripps Ranch neighborhood their home for more than 20 years.

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As customers of the nearby Wild Birds Unlimited store, the married couple knows the value of that store and its connection to the community.

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“The overwhelming sentiment we hear from customers is how glad they are that their ‘happy place’ isn’t going anywhere” said Payne. “The former owners, Jerry and Arlene Martin, had been wanting to retire for a few years and the longer the search for a new owner went on, the more customers became anxious that the store might close.”

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The pair, who purchased the store in January, invite the community to celebrate with them at a “Grand Reopening” event on Saturday, March 23.

“We’ll raffle off some wonderful prizes and give everyone who attends a code they can redeem for twenty percent off one regularly-priced item that weekend,” Payne said.

The event will feature a presentation at 11 a.m. on birdscaping your garden using native plants. Guests can learn how to create a garden that will encourage birds to use it year-round.

“Theresa Everett will discuss the essential landscape requirements that provide for the general bird population’s needs,” said Croissant, an avid gardener. “She’ll also discuss the specific preferences of our favorite local birds and how to provide them in your garden.”

The day will wrap up at 1 p.m. with a presentation by the folks at Critter Encounters.

“They’ll talk about sustainability, endangered species and how important these are in the ecosystem,” Payne said. “They’ll also bring along some amazing feathered friends you can meet up-close.”

Payne, a native of Southern California, comes from a background in the military as a communications technician, then electronics engineer and finally a web developer. He feels that his experience and skill at operations make his daily running of the store a perfect fit.

“It’s still aviation-related, if you think of it,” he said. “We provide the fuel the birds need to power their little high-energy lives.”

While Payne will run the store, Croissant will continue to work as vice president of Clinical Operations for LumiThera, Inc., a medical device company that focuses on treating dry age-related macular degeneration.

“My job can be pretty stressful, so I look to my love of gardening, birding, and photography as an escape and as a way to decompress and enjoy nature,” Croissant said. “We’re so lucky to live in the most biodiverse county in the nation and are spoiled for choice.

“Should we go down to the river mouth and look for Ridgeway’s rails? How about searching for burrowing owls near Salton Sea? Of course the wildlife we see in our own backyard can be so much fun as well,” she said.

Wild Birds Unlimited is at 10549 Scripps Poway Parkway, Suite B-35, in Scripps Ranch. For more information, call 858-633-5928.

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