Founder Scott Lukens and his partner Molly Evans were both raised in families that enjoyed backyard bird feeding. Even during his corporate career in Human Resources and hers in computers, they stocked bird feeders and enjoyed watching and identifying backyard birds. The idea of opening Backyard Bird Shop sprang from Scott’s struggle to find the supplies and information for his interest, and realizing the struggle was a business opportunity!
Having taken a year off from his corporate career to care for their firstborn daughter, Zara, the idea of returning to the corporate fast lane was unappealing. Instead, in March 1991 Scott used his life savings to open the first Backyard Bird Shop in a little house in downtown Lake Oswego. As the shop got busier and busier, Scott and a small staff opened a second location.
Once their second daughter Myra was on the way, Molly left HP to work in the company in 1994. As Backyard Bird Shop continued to grow, the entire family was involved: Scott’s father, Ned, came out of retirement to work in the stores and be the radio and TV advertising ‘voice’ of Backyard Bird Shop. Ned and Dorothy, his wife, were integral to the fledgling business as well as to family life, using their Grandparent super-powers to bridge many parental failings!
The Backyard Bird Shop flock gradually expanded to include more than 35 crucial staff members, chosen for their fondness for customers and love of nature, many with backgrounds in biology, gardening and teaching. It has always been important that customers who walk into one of the shops encounter helpful people with plenty of expertise.
Scott was a long-time volunteer and served as a Board Member of Audubon Society of Portland, just as his niece Amanda does today, with their paths even now crossing at Tualatin River Keepers events or Portland Audubon committee meetings.
When Scott and Molly began to think of retirement, their niece Amanda and her husband Colin were ready to lead the flock! Retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel Brainard, having flown more hours than most backyard birds, had an appreciation and interest in wild birds. Professional Mediator Amanda had frequently visited Scott and Molly’s family and shops and saw a good fit for her in the environmentally- and family-oriented lifestyle this business offered. In 2016 a new era began, with Colin and Amanda bringing new skills and loads of new ideas to lead Backyard Bird Shop in providing all the products and services necessary to make customers successful and inviting and hosting backyard birds and other wildlife to their yards and gardens.