The Best Birding Retailer of the Year award winners were announced at this year’s Wild Bird Expo™, sponsored by Gold Crest Distributing in Mexico, MO. Winners were announced on Wednesday, October 9th during the event’s Share Night gathering and are as follows:
-Best Large Store with a Birding Emphasis (Over 1,800 Sq. Feet): For the Wild Birds located in Omaha, NE. This 3000 square foot birding paradise has been in business for over 12 years. For the Wild Birds is the community bird and wildlife hot spot offering a huge selection of over 200 bird feeders and supplies.
-Best Small Store with a Birding Emphasis (Less than 1,800 Sq. Feet): Backyard Bird Center located in Kansas City, MO. Backyard Bird Center is deeply rooted in community involvement and partners with several conservation organizations such as the Missouri Department of Conservation and The Nature Conservatory. They help with dozens of community programs such as scout troops, garden clubs, and various civic groups.
-Best Not for Profit: Friends of Bombay Hook located in Smyrna, DE. The Friends of Bombay Hook manage and operate the Blue Heron Gift Shoppe which is located inside of the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Reserve Visitor Center where they support and enhance the educational and recreation programs at Bombay Hook.
-Best Multi-Line Store with a Birding Department: Theisen’s with 21 locations in Iowa and 3 locations in Wisconsin. Theisen’s was founded over 90 years ago and has grown to the multi-line store that is known today. Theisen’s expanded birding department has seen over 45% grown in the last year, with a very promising future.
-Best New Store or Birding Department: Thistle & Twig located in Plainfield, IL. New to the birding industry, Thistle & Twig offers all the birding and wildlife necessities plus nature inspired gifts and birding seminars. Nominees for the awards were reviewed by an award selection team who were tasked with determining who, in their opinion, demonstrated conscientious effort in advancing the birding hobby and industry through their attention to merchandising, marketing, product selection, and community involvement.
The Wild Bird Expo™ is co-sponsored and hosted by Gold Crest Distributing in Mexico, MO. Grant Toellner, Vice President of Gold Crest Distributing, was quoted to say, “Every year we get a multitude of strong nominees for the group of categories that could win the awards, and I think the selection team did a great job with the selections of all five winners as they are all leaders in the backyard nature space and growing birding as a whole.”