While not a natural birder, a flourishing downtown business kept this new owner local and able to finally work for herself. Patricia Cousineau purchased Bird House Nature Company in 2020 and has since been able to adapt and grow the business. “I knew nothing about birding, but I knew business,” said Cousineau. A previous career in finance allowed her to bring a new perspective to the established business.
In beginning the journey of buying a business, Cousineau reached out to the Orillia Area CDC, where she learned about the BizLink program. From there, she received guidance from CDC staff and was connected with Bird House Nature Company, which had a business model she liked. The CDC was instrumental in supporting her through the process.
Cousineau also utilized the mentorship she received from the previous owner, her staff, and even clients, as she quickly learned all about the business and what it has to offer. “We have a variety of different garden features as well as feed and feeders for the birds” explains Cousineau. She asks her customers what they are looking for, what birds they want to attract, and what their garden is like so she can suggest a feeder, feed, or birdhouse to best meet their needs.
Despite the challenges that came with purchasing a business during COVID lockdowns, Cousineau’s perseverance allowed her to find ways to reach the community. She utilized her front window displays to appeal to those walking downtown, offered curbside pick up, and updated the business’s website to offer online sales.
Beyond birds, Bird House Nature Company also offers unique items from local artists and makers. As a lifelong local, Cousineau enjoys supporting and serving our local community. She has also been supporting local long-term care homes and hospices, setting up feeders, and donating seed for their residents to enjoy.
Cousineau is enjoying being an entrepreneur and has sent other inspiring business owners to the CDC for support and coaching. She has also received financing through the CDC, which helped her purchase the business and begin the new venture.
In the future, Cousineau would love to purchase another business. For now, “I am happier and more relaxed than I have ever been” she said with a smile.
For more information about Bird House Nature Company, visit birdhousenaturecompany.ca.
For more information on the Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC) visit www.orilliacdc.com or contact 705-325-4903 x 101.
*Special thanks to the project funder, The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). OTF is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $108 million to 629 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.
Source: Orillia Matters