The Wild Bird Center is growing, and the Manlius area will be prettier because of it – and not only from the beautiful birds gracing feeders in residents’ yards.
The shop is expanding the space it occupies in the historic building located at 315 E. Seneca St. in the village. As a result, the already striking interior of the former site of the First Baptist Church of Manlius will be even more beautiful.
Opened in January 2008, the Wild Bird Center of Manlius is family owned and operated by Heidi and Bob Menikheim of Manlius. Heidi, a Manlius native, and Bob, a birdwatcher and lifelong resident of Manlius, were inspired to open the store by their love of birds and nature and a desire to share their knowledge of backyard birding with their customers. The store offers field-tested birdseed and exclusive seed blends consisting of premium ingredients preferred by backyard birds, such as sunflower, peanuts, hulled sunflower, safflower, Nyjer and millet for ground feeding birds. Their blends have no fillers and are fresh, debris-free and packed with protein. Wild Bird Center also offers a selection of feeders, birdbaths, nest boxes, books, media, binoculars, gifts and other bird feeding products.
“It has been a thrill opening and operating a Wild Bird Centers store in my hometown,” Heidi said. “My husband’s family has been here for more than 30 years and love this community. That is why we are committed to staying in Manlius.”
In keeping with this mission, they will be opening a new store this spring, also in the former church, which the Menikheims purchased in June of last year.
“Seneca Street Emporium will have crafts, food and handmade items, all made in the U.S., with a lot of it made in New York,” Heidi said. “We tried to think of something that fits well with the Wild Bird Center and liked the idea of promoting buying local. Being local ourselves, it is important for us to encourage people to support local business. We wanted to help revitalize this area that we live in. That’s why we bought this building.”
Since the Wild Bird Center moved to its current location, the Menikheims have been focused on improving the building inside and out.
‘We’ve paved the parking lot behind the building and put in a fence,” Heidi said. “Also, the renovations to the building will make it handicapped accessible, with an elevator and ramps. We think this old building is beautiful and are trying to make it a nice place in Manlius.”
Heidi said it is the customers that make it all worthwhile.
“Our customers are great,” she said. “They love nature and animals, and are always coming in here with stories about birds, squirrels and other wildlife they’ve encountered.”
She said she plans to reach out to the community and share her family’s love of nature.
“We like to hold bird walks, and will be expanding on that in the future,” Heidi said.
For more information about the Wild Bird Center stop by the store at 315 E. Seneca St., Manlius, call 692-4325 or visit wildbird.com/franchisee/man/home.