COURTESY OF COLE’S WILD BIRD

Penn Hills Lawn & Garden wanted to enhance their retail garden center with wildlife merchandise, but couldn’t find exactly what they were looking for until they came across Cole’s Wild Bird at a trade show in 2012.

“We didn’t have a good bird food line, and we wanted to bring that into our nursery,” says Jayme Visnesky, owner of Penn Hills. “We saw [Cole’s]…and we bought the whole booth there.”

Visnesky says that the company’s attention and knowledgeability is one of the reasons she decided to go with Cole’s.

“[The sales rep] was very helpful with how to set up the store, so we set up a little spot in our garden center that we call ‘the bird’s nest,’” she says. “We sell the Cole’s food and the Cole’s feeders as well.”

COURTESY OF COLE’S WILD BIRD

Customers at Penn Hills also appreciate Cole’s products, so much so that the sales have significantly impacted the garden center.

“It is a good line to sell. They offered me the displays and everything to set me up, which is a big deal when you have a large facility. It was a very big help; they were very easy to work with,” Visnesky says. “We have [repeat customers] coming back to buy the product, which is nice, because we’ve never had that.”

Cole’s Hot Meats and Blue Ribbon Blend feeds are among customer favorites. Hot Meats features sunflower seeds infused with habanero chili peppers — and the heat repels squirrels and other mammals, but birds enjoy the seed because they cannot taste or feel spice. The Blue Ribbon Blend is also popular because it’s an economical choice that also attracts a large variety of birds.

What sets Cole’s apart from competitors is the fact that they use as little filler as possible in their feed. Visnesky also praises Cole’s packaging as an asset to the brand.

“The information that you get to sell the product [is helpful],” she says. “They give you brochures and feeding charts that can guide your employees to give good advice.”

Visnesky said she would recommend Cole’s Wild Bird to other garden centers.

“Just nobody within ten miles,” she says with a laugh.