For four decades Bird Haven on Grand Avenue was a landmark Escondido business. Customers who entered the store would be serenaded by the jungle symphony of tropical birds singing at the top of their beaks.
Last week, in a message to their customers, owners Mark & Sharon Petrarca announced that they had sold the business. “We have decided it’s time to retire. After forty years of talking to parrots for much of our day, we think we want to go somewhere where it is quiet for a while. We want to take this opportunity to let everyone know how much we have loved spending these past 40 years with all of you. Many of you have been coming into the store for decades. Being a small business is always hard, but having such loyal customers, some for generations, who have supported us- Thank you!”
The couple, who are both in their early 60s, met in Florida as teenagers and moved to San Diego with their two pet birds. Their dream, which they soon made a reality, was to open their own bird store.
They opened Our Feathered Friends in 1978 in North Park. It later relocated to the Grantville neighborhood. In 1988 they purchased A Bird Haven from the founder and several years later purchased the building on Grand Avenue from East Valley Parkway where the store finally perched until its closure last week.