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Freeport Wild Bird Supply – Pop-Up Shop with Leela’s Cultural Treasures

February 5 @ 10:00 am - April 1 @ 6:00 pm

We are very excited to be hosting a Pop-Up Shop from Leela’s Cultural Treasures of Vassalboro, ME! In cooperation with the Black Owned Maine initiative, we invited Leela’s to show off her wide variety of locally-made and imported products, offer them for sale, and help grow a brand-new, pandemic-born Maine business.
Leela’s Cultural treasures has its home in Maine with roots firmly and deeply planted in the fertile Belizean soil. It all started when Susan Kiralis stepped out in search for local natural products from skilled indigenous artisans, mainly women. She forged tight bonds with experts in their field including Mayan women who continue to practice traditional craft making. Her fiery spirit encourages her to make life better for her community of women from Belize to Maine.
But why is this in a wild bird specialty shop you may ask?
First, we have been very fortunate to have a business that has thrived during the pandemic, and this is another way we will continue to pay it forward. Second, Susan’s story is amazing: she went to Belize with less than $20 extra cash to bring some impossible to find products home for folks she knew. Then, the pandemic hit and a new business was born – acquiring locally-grown and sustainably sourced products from Belize, Mexico, and Maine and selling them at farmer’s markets and through online commerce all around the world! Thirdly, some of these products are just plain awesome!
But most importantly: for the benefits of birds! Traditional and sustainable products help protect forests and biodiversity around the world. Some of our favorite migratory birds, including many warblers, vireos, orioles, and tanagers spend at least half the year in the forests of Latin America. Belize is a well known birding destination, with over 600 species seen in the small country. Supporting local economies, especially by empowering women and supporting traditional crafts, is a sure-fire way to support conservation, a model that has been proven around the world. Instead of burning down the rainforest for more cheap soybeans and fast-food burgers, Copal Palms are protected to tap for resin, jippijappe grass is sustainably cut for weaving, and organic chocolate (like bird-friendly coffee) is grown in the shade of bird-rich, diverse forest canopies. We’re not building a fence around the rainforest and telling the people who live there to stay out (nor should we!), but there is a way for people to earn a living while not destroying the ecosystem.


Freeport Wild Bird Supply
541 US-1,
Freeport, ME 04032
(207) 865-6000

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