A Brief History of Port Orchard Parrots and Port Orchard Parrots Plus
2004: Rein Baker, Owner
Port Orchard Parrots (now Port Orchard Parrots Plus) has been a family-owned business since it was founded in the summer of 2004 by Rein Baker, a breeder of many different parrot species in Southern California since the early 1990s, and later near Fragaria (southeast of Port Orchard) and in Ocean Shores, Washington.
Rein initially shared space with The Groomery (owned and operated by her daughter (my sister-in-law) Tonia Baker and my sister, Traci Penland) on Bay Street near the Hwy. 16 interchange. In 2007 both businesses relocated to Frederick Avenue in downtown Port Orchard and remained there until March 2016 when we moved to our current location on Bethel Avenue, just downhill from the Mile Hill/Bethel roundabout.
2009: Phyllis Penland, Owner
My mother (Phyllis Penland) worked part time with Rein and on her own for several years (hand-raising many of the parrots bred by Rein’s flock and her own flock of Lovebirds). In 2009 she purchased Port Orchard Parrots from Rein. Mom brought her many years experience rescuing other types of animals (in particular her beloved basset hounds) to the parrot world and soon had a store full of rescued birds of her own, whom she loved as only a devoted mother can.
When Mom bought Port Orchard Parrots it was one of several parrot-related businesses in the area, however all the others went away over the years and only Port Orchard Parrots remained. In addition to caring for her flock, Mom would spend hours every day introducing them to curious tourists and other visitors who wandered in, providing boarding and grooming services for those who needed it, placing homeless parrots in new, loving homes, discouraging parrot ownership for those who were clearly not ready for the unique challenges that entailed, and debating politics with anyone who had the stomach for it. No shrinking violet, my mother.
Mom was seriously injured in an unfortunate fall in September 2010 and spent more than a year recuperating from her injuries. My Dad Mike (who was still operating his own very successful classic car parts recycling and sales business in Mojave, California and commuting between there and Port Orchard on a regular basis to be with Mom) eventually decided to make the move to Port Orchard a permanent one. He started a new business with my sister Traci (Key Coins and Collectibles) and between Mom, Dad, Traci, Tonia and various other friends and family members, Port Orchard Parrots continued to thrive in spite of Mom’s ongoing disability.
2016: Todd Penland, Owner
Time passed and the business continued to grow, however Mom’s health continued to be a problem for her. Her leg injury continued to restrict her freedom of movement and eventually she decided that more help was needed. Of all the members of our family, I was the only one with a job that can be done anywhere (I’ve been a self-employed software developer since the late 1980s, working in far-flung locations all around the United States, Europe, and Asia), and in October 2015 Mom and Dad asked me to come to work at Port Orchard Parrots. I agreed and set up shop in the front of Mom’s business, creating software and taking care of Mom’s flock, her boarders, and the retail business with Mom’s help and guidance. I knew absolutely nothing about parrots when I started this, and would probably never have considered making this a second profession. Then Xena happened.
As it happened, Mom decided to retire in March 2016 and I – having fallen in love with everything to do with Parrots – decided to buy the business from her. Due to the deteriorating condition of the building in which Port Orchard Parrots and The Groomery were located, I made the decision (along with Dad, Tonia, and Traci) to move. The Groomery stayed in downtown Port Orchard (on Dekalb Street where it meets Bay Street) and I moved Port Orchard Parrots to its current location at 595 Bethel Avenue.
In the summer of 2016 I decided to expand the focus of Port Orchard Parrots to include products and services for all types of exotic pets and to set up our online store at POParrots.com. I renamed the business Port Orchard Parrots Plus to reflect our expanded offerings and have been working ever since (keeping my software development skills well-honed) as the primary developer of the online business – another thing I’d never done before.
Over the years I’ve come to love parrots more than I could ever have imagined possible. Sadly I lost Xena in July of 2017 and my early days as a parront have been rocky ones. Through it all I’ve had the support of a wonderful community of clients and their feathered family members keeping me busy with boarding, grooming, daycare, pet sitting, and providing the supplies they need to lead happy and healthy lives. I’ve continued the work Mom began with Port Orchard Parrot Rescue and in the process I’ve helped find new homes for many homeless birds, and even adopted a flock of my own along the way – made up of (at this writing) three African Grey parrots, three Cockatiels, a Sun Conure, an Indian Ringneck, a Cinammon Green Cheek Conure, and a Zebra Finch. Of course I consider myself a temporary caretaker for most of them as I continue looking for just the right people who can provide permanent homes for them. In the meantime, we take it one day at a time (along with my dog Minion), living with, learning from, and loving each other as we share this little adventure of ours. Funny how life works out when you were busy making other plans.
Todd Penland, President
Penland Investments Inc. DBA Port Orchard Parrots Plus