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Birdie’s, Inc. is an American regional chain of grocery stores with primary locations around the San Francisco Bay Area. Fremont native Francis Birdwell founded the brand in 1990, opening the first location in his hometown at the intersection of Warm Springs Boulevard and Dixon Road after feeling disappointed from the high prices of competing grocery chains. Birdwell was originally a software engineer working for Juniper Networks. He began by growing his own fruits and vegetables in his backyard as a hobby. After growing an overabundance of crops during the spring of 1989, Birdwell sold his extra produce to friends and family for a reduced price. Inspired by the amount of revenue he received, Birdwell quit his job and invested in an empty store the following year. The regional chain received a surge in popularity after their radio jingle (“Fly by Birdie’s, where everything is cheap, cheap, cheap!”) went viral in 1991. As of February 2016, the chain currently has 150 locations around the Bay Area. Birdwell recently announced on December 27, 2015 during an interview with Good Morning, America that he is looking into expanding his business in the following year. 70 stores are expected to open in the southern Californian region in July 2016.

Birdie’s stocks around 7,000 products, a fifth of what a standard grocery store carries. The chain offers a variety of organic and non-organic produce, imported products, and a small selection of wines grown from Napa. 85% of the products sold are from the house label.

Kristi Huynh