Linda Rose Forney, the owner of Gramma Roses Keep of Peepers, is increasing her business. She recently purchased 200 additional birds from a store that was closing in Albany. Along with the increase in inventory, shes also moving from appointment only to regular business hours (10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday).
To celebrate the inventory and new business model, Forney is holding a grand re-opening on Friday, Oct. 25, with story time for kids, crafts and snacks from noon to 2 p.m.
The store is located on Hart Street in Molalla, in a section of Forneys home. Finches, parrots, pigeons, birds of many types croon in cages, filling the room with chatter. Forney specializes in ring-necked doves, a pale-gray bird with pink and lavender mixed in.
Outside, ducks paddle through ponds, a pair of cranes flap their wings in the sun, and a several white doves perch on the peak of her home.
For a fee, Forney takes the doves to weddings, funerals and other celebrations, where she has remote-controlled cages to release them from.
Sometimes the birds circle and drift overhead, Forney said, but other times they leave the cages and head straight home. Her doves are bred for short-distance homing, about a 50-mile radius from where they roost.
Its been an interesting business to have, Forney said looking up at the doves on her home. Its touching to be a part of [peoples ceremonies].
Forney cares a lot about all the birds she takes care of, particularly a black swan named Tilly.
Silly Tilly Forney said, hugging the bird, which has a bright red bill and seems to be a bit shy. Shes not usually so standoffish.
Forney has been selling pet supplies in Molalla for about three years. Its a hard business to be in, she said. Her pet supplies inventory started low but increased as she began carrying and selling more pets. The more pets she carries though, the more her costs rise. Feed is expensive, and running the business out of her home can be challenging. Its a labor of love, she said, adding that at times she keeps the birds because kids love to come see themand other more unusual pets Forney sells.
One of the most popular pets she carries is Madagascar hissing cockroaches. People think theyre dirty, or that theyre strange, Forney said, but hands down theyre cleaner than mice or guinea pigs. Its a fun pet for kids, Forney said, as a hisser about the size of a finger crawled over her knuckles and into the palm of her other hand.
The roaches dont bite and they live on fruits or pellet food. Its a great low-maintenance pet for a kid, to teach children responsibility, Forney said.