John Czinner of Jackson takes
inventory at the Friends of Nature store on Thursday
morning in Slinger.
John Ehlke/Daily News
could say Doug Wilde is “bullish” on business in Slinger.
Wilde, along with his wife Lynda, own Friends of Nature, a
full-line animal supply and bird feed store. The business has
become so successful in its 10 years of operation in Dove Plaza
it had to move to a larger location, and now will expand into an
Friends of Nature is in the Slinger Center at 433 E. Washington
St., but will lease more space from Norb Weyer at 437 E.
Washington St., directly behind the store.
“We’re just running out of space and we want to try a few new
things,” Wilde said. “We’re going to be doing some things
different from what people are used to seeing around here.”
In order for his plan to move forward, Wilde needed the Village
Plan Commission to approve a conditional use permit for his new
location. He got that permission earlier this month.
“He needed the CUP because he is going to be warehousing a large
amount of product, such as animal feed and pet supplies,”
Village Planner Marty Marchek said. “He’s had a successful
business already in the village and he wants to do something
even bigger and better. He’s a great guy to deal with.”
Wilde said he knows there are customers who want to be able to
buy feed and other supplies in large volumes.
“We’re going to sell pallet-size orders of the products,” Wilde
said. “People want to buy in bulk sizes and in turn save money
for buying so much at one time. With the new space right behind
our present store, we can walk right out the back door to get
Marchek said Wilde also plans to add self-checkout lines in the
“If they end up getting away from the
self-checkout and just use it as a warehouse, that’s why they
needed the CUP,” Marchek said. “If the use was completely
warehouse, then state fire and building codes would need to be
Wilde said he hopes to have the business
ready open within four to six weeks.
“I’m going on vacation for a while soon, but
I hope we can open sometime between May 1-15,” Wilde said. “We
don’t need to do very much work on the new building to have it
fit our needs, so that will speed up our opening. It was the
former location for an archery story and a child care center.”
Wilde also owns
similar stores in Cedarburg and Menomonee Falls.