David and Hanna Goss are excited to bring the Wild Birds Unlimited experience to the Tri-Cities
Meet the Owners
David and Hanna Goss are partners in the Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop at 474 Keene Road in the Yokes shopping center. The store offers only the freshest, highest quality food for birds and other necessities for the hobby of backyard bird feeding, as well as quality nature gifts.
“Backyard bird feeding is a great hobby the entire family can enjoy,” said owner David Goss of Richland. Goss and his wife Hanna have always been passionate about birds and nature, and during most of their 26-year marriage, they have enjoyed having at least one bird feeder in their backyard. “For us, bird feeding is more than a hobby,” Goss said. “It’s a way to connect with nature.”
The average backyard may be visited regularly by 15 to 20 different bird species. However, a bird-friendly yard can attract up to 60 or more different species. Providing an easy-to-find source of food year-round not only gives birds nourishment, but it also gives them more time to find mates, build nests, raise their young and perform other duties that are key to their survival.
What is new for the couple is running a retail store. “We were very busy the first several months not only signing a lease agreement on our location and working with a contractor to build out the space, but also completing franchise store owner training in Carmel, IN, and getting hands-on training at the Wild Birds Unlimited store in Billings, MT,” Goss said. “We learned about the various operational aspects of a specialty retail business. Not only do you have the backroom operations of managing staff and inventory, but you also have the front room and ensuring that every customer has an exceptional shopping experience.”
Focus on Service
This emphasis on customer experience is a natural extension of Goss’ 25-year career in higher education. “My focus was always on serving the students and making sure they had what they needed to be successful, whether I was teaching or when I was the director of student academic advising at two universities.” When he took early retirement to allow Hanna to pursue a communications position in the Tri-Cities, he was looking for a new opportunity outside academia. Since moving to Richland three-and-a-half years ago from the Asheville, NC area, Goss has been involved in productions of by the Rude Mechanicals Shakespeare Company as well as Mid-Columbia Musical Theatre.
But when a friend told the couple she was buying a Wild Birds Unlimited franchise in Hilton Head, SC, they were both immediately intrigued. “We had never heard of it, so while we were on the phone with her I looked it up online and learned that Wild Birds Unlimited is part of the original and largest franchise system of backyard bird feeding and nature specialty stores with more than 325 locations throughout the United States and Canada. The company specializes in bringing people and nature together with bird feeding and nature products, expert advice and educational events.”
The couple spent several months going through an extensive vetting process with the franchise and visiting many of the 11 Wild Birds Unlimited stores on the west side of the state, as well as many of the stores in Oregon. “The more we learned, the more excited we were about this opportunity,” Goss explained. “Not only did we resonate with the mission of ‘Bringing people and nature together and doing it with excellence,’ but we are excited to bring a new and exciting shopping experience to the Tri-Cities.”
Bird Feeding Specialists
The couple completed their training to become Certified Bird Feeding Specialists and are ready to help customers attract the birds they want according to their yard and habitat, the time of year and our region, said Goss. “We can also help with potential nature problems such as squirrels eating your bird food. We really want our customers to come in and chat about the birds that are coming to their backyard.”
Goss is the full-time manager of the store with Hanna working part-time. Three high-energy staff members fill out their team and have also completed their training to become Certified Bird Feeding Specialists. Please stop by and say hello, we’d love to meet you and hear about the birds coming to your yard!
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