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Ida Fereira hold a macaw she raised and also John Fereira hold a rabbit.

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John Fereira has actually been raising birds since he to be 6 years old, life in his native Portugal.

“It to be a hobby. I just liked birds. I’d purchase them and also breed them,” that said.

For the past 32 years, he and his wife, Ida, have actually been raising and also selling them in their store, because that Birds Only, i m sorry has end up being a fixture in ~ 176 Jericho Tpke. In Mineola. The service has increased to encompass tropical fish and other pets over the years and also John enjoys every element of it.

“I prefer my business, the customers, the birds and the fish,” Fereira said.

He had an uncle and cousins living in Mineola when he settled there after moving from Portugal in 1970.

John and Ida had met years before in Portugal. She moved to the U.S. Five years after ~ John. Castle married and worked for several years with each other at Sidney Gold, a sweater warehouse in brand-new Hyde Park.

Fereira, 60, automatically became involved in the Portuguese American Club, whereby he has actually been an energetic member because that the past 45 years. And he ongoing the understanding of his youth in the basement of his house, offering the birds and also gradually occurring a little business out of it.

After 10 years of working out the his house, he shed his project in the warehouse as soon as it relocated and he determined to open up a storefront ~ above Jericho Turnpike. “I said to myself, ‘I’m walk to open up my own business,’” that recalled.

When for Birds just opened in 1984, it to be the only store on lengthy Island that specialized in selling exotic birds, native finches, cockatiels and also canaries to an ext exotic parrots, cockatoos and also macaws. An advertising he placed on TV assisted to kick-start the business and draw a farming customer base.

“My store gained a really huge name. We had customers from anywhere Long Island,” Fereira said.

Five years after opening the business, the bought the building next door and expanded it come its existing configuration. And today, he typically has 1,000 birds that fill the keep with your songs and squawks. After ~ expanding, he likewise started selling fish, both fresh- and also saltwater species.

“I uncovered a lot of my customers own fish,” that said.

His list has because expanded to incorporate an even wider range of home pets, from chinchillas and also rabbits come bearded dragons and also geckos.

Fereira sells a complete line of supplies for all of the pets he sells, and added dog food come his list a few years back in solution to customers.

But the primary focus remains the birds, plenty of of which castle breed and raise themselves.

“It’s very nice, but a lot of responsibility, a lot of care,” Ida said.

She stated she think of the baby birds she feeds and also nurtures “like small children” and also she proceeds to treatment for them as soon as customers carry them earlier to the keep to have actually their pond clipped.

It’s a work-intensive business, through the birds, fish and other pets all requiring daily attention. “It’s seven days a week,” john said. “And there’s no a the majority of profit.”

Competition from pet save chains and also sales the pets virtual has changed the landscape end the years. But For Birds only counters that competition with lower prices.

“The chains space bigger, yet we have lower prices than the chains,” john said. “And we specialize.”

The Fereiras said they’ve grew a customer basic by indigenous of mouth that draws world from as far away together upstate new York since of your reputation because that personalized service.

It’s been a household business, through the Fereiras’ 2 daughters, Michelle and Elizabeth, helping your parents in previous years.

“They’re great people. I’ve known them for 32 years,” claimed Jerry, a customer visiting the save recently.

“We have great loyal customers,” man said, adding that they’ve offered successive generations of family members as customers over the years.

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And old customers regularly just protect against by to visit the keep that has end up being an iconic service in Mineola.

“People come ago just to say ‘hi’,” Ida said. “And part just contact to make certain we’re still around.”