Des Moines Feed Co.
Iowa-based, family-owned and managed Des Moines Feed Co. has been in the wild bird feed industry since 1944. For over 70 years, they've produced energy-rich gourmet mixes that include peanut pickouts, peanut hearts, almonds and other tree nuts to meet the unique needs of wild bird species from cardinals to woodpeckers to pigeons and beyond! Their blends of high-quality seeds are cleaned, graded and air-aspirated. No artificial flavoring is used. Their fruit is real fruit. No insecticides, pesticides or heat treatments are used. All seeds and grains are non-GMO and tested in a third-party laboratory for quality control. Des Moines combined experience and expertise in bird feeding and commitment to wild birds high-quality nutrition is encapsulated in their mission, "our business is truly for the birds."
Highland Ridge Rustics
A partnership especially close to our hearts (father and daughter), Highland Ridge Rustics was created by Stephanie Edwards and her father Steve Dixon, a farming family in middle Tennessee. Their brand name was taken from Highland Ridge Road where their farm is based—just as the future Shallow Brook Drive was set motion!
As he found himself in mid-life transition, Steve wasn't the man to go out and buy a fancy car or book a trip to the Bahamas. He had his heart set on a plasma cutter to make his own tools and machinery parts. A graphic designer by trade, Stephanie saw this as an opportunity to turn her designs into metal art and Highland Ridge Rustic Decor was born. To this day, Stephanie designs all of the art and Steve applies the elbow grease to make it all happen.
Life List Notebooks
Our first shipment from Life List Notebooks came in a children's shoebox from one of our favorite outdoor brands. A handwritten note from Nate, the company owner, said: "Please excuse the reuse of this shoebox, but it fit the packs so perfectly, I couldn't resist." It shows the humble and kind heart behind this amazing company! No excuse needed for an effort made to reduce waste by reusing such a cute box to ship us our first order! At Life List Notebooks, the old-fashioned and timeless pencil and paper are favored for recording field data. Born of the frustration Nate found with using eBird for recording his birding trips, (cumbersome typing, constant distraction by text messages or social media), Nate found he missed his tally marks and field sketches. He missed his paper birding notebook! After a fruitless search for a durable and reasonably-priced option with attractive, uniquely illustrated covers—Life List Notebooks was born.
Life List strives to provide practical and convenient pocket notebooks for recording birding observations and species lists, and they aim to do so in fresh and attractive formats produced by earth-friendly means—every Life List Notebook is printed in the U.S.A. using 100% green energy! All of their notebooks are fit for any sized birding adventure from casual backyard observation to international expeditions.
A lifelong passion for wildlife inspired sisters and best friends Danielle & Michelle Mohilef's to start Pacific Bird & Supply Co. They are wild about birding and believe in providing our feathered friends with the best natural nutrition possible. Pacific Bird premium suet is proudly made in the USA and contains the perfect balance of proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins for wild birds' daily diet—increasing nesting and survivability rates while promoting health, vigor and song. Pacific Bird gives back with each purchase, educating K-12 children on the many benefits of wild bird feeding, bird conservation and environmental preservation. Their slogan is: "More Bugs. More Birds. More Beautiful." We agree!
Sarah Edmonds Illustration
Sarah Edmonds is an illustrator and designer living and working in the UK. A self-taught artist, Sarah spent her childhood adventuring around farmyards and forests, the natural world feeding her imagination until it burst! Inspired by mid-century children's books, wild birds and gardening, she loves a good pun. Her collection of illustrated greeting cards and tea towels feature bird charts of "Tits," "Boobies," "Peckers," "Hooters" (and so on!). Her creative process always begins with crayons, pens and paper, and she blends bright colors with wonky shapes to add character and warmth to each illustration. Of her work, she says: "I love to make people giggle and embrace their mischievous side." We agree, and her work is a hoot in our book!
A native Canadian, Gavin Canning was a recent art school graduate ('09) when he moved to Korea to teach English. While working in Seoul, his elementary-aged students surprised him regularly with small paper gifts and he soon found his desk overflowing with origami designs: cranes, flowers, hearts. His curiosity in the intricacy and patience of the art of jong-i jeobgi (Korean name for origami) set him on a path of exploring the craft himself. After receiving a set of Japanese yuzen papers as a gift, he found himself spending all of his free time at work learning to fold dragons, parrots, narwhals and butterflies. When Gavin describes his passion for the infinite possibilities a little piece of paper can invite ... I feel I've found a kindred spirit! My boundless energy for Shallow Brook Drive often feels like that unfolded sheet of paper!
As Gavin's folds became crisper and his projects more detailed, his daily designs posted to his Facebook gained momentum. It was a request from his Aunt to turn his paper cranes into a set of earrings that launched FoldIT Creations—origami-inspired jewelry and accessories based on Gavin's original paper origami designs.
Gavin and I connected over our love of birds (he volunteers at a local Toronto, Ontario Wildlife Center helping injured migrating birds) and shared background in the French language. His incredible Pileated Woodpecker pin is my favorite among his work, and I'm thrilled to have FoldIT creations in the shop!
Artisan family-owned and operated coffee roaster Thanksgiving Coffee was established in 1972 by Joan and Paul Katzeff. The story of their journey took shape when Paul visited Nicaragua for the first time—witnessing the poor living conditions of the coffee farmers firsthand radically changed his view of coffee and how it should be produced and traded. That trip ignited Thanksgiving Coffee’s mission to become a force for good—improving the lives of their extended coffee-farming family. Paul wrote the company's mission statement and motto on that flight back from Nicaragua, "Not just a cup, but a just cup."
Headquartered on the Northern coast of California, Thanksgiving Coffee continues that mission today, partnering with Fair Trade coffee cooperatives and family farms on five continents.
Their support for justice for their coffee bean growers, their communities, and the environment led them to create SongBird Coffee in partnership with the American Birding Association. Each package sold benefits the American Birding Association's programs in Central America and helps support the outreach of BirdNote. By drinking shade-grown and bird friendly certified coffee every morning, you are supporting these coffee farmers, the efforts of the ABA and BirdNote, and the countless birds they are protecting through community outreach and conservation.
We're proud to carry SongBird Coffee and hope to engage coffee drinkers on the environmental issues impacting birds and humans alike!
After being given a small letterpress machine by a friend, designer Heather Braun of Vancouver Canada realized that her love for nature and the textures and intricate details of the natural world—from feathers, to flowers and vegetation—suggested that letterpress might just be her calling. And so Porchlight Press was born! That was back in 2012, and Heather has now expanded her collection of historic letterpress machines towards what visitors might take for a museum of abandoned relics. But, oh how Heather and her team work those presses! It was the crisp, modern design of Porchlight's bird cards that first caught our eye at Shallow Brook Drive, and when we touched them and felt the delicate, almost sculptural aspect of letterpress work, it was love! We almost tossed our birding binoculars and took up letterpress ourselves ... and then decided to leave it to Heather and her incredible studio team.
Porchlight Press has a manifesto which shares many of our same foundational principles. With their stationery and notebooks, they hope to encourage connection (who doesn't love to receive a letter or card in the mail—it's a bit like the magic of a visit from a faraway bird to your backyard feeder) and inspire people to communicate for real, by hand, with a pen rather than through a device.
A bit like our own philosophy of 'looking up' at the birds instead of down at our phones, Porchlight Press also hopes to foster appreciation for any opportunity in this too-fast, too-digital time to slow down and appreciate the beautiful and the tactile.
Welcome Heather and team to the Shallow Brook Drive family. I'm proud to share your crisp, modern letterpress bird cards and notebooks with our customers!