Mitchell Marketing Group, dba The Mr. Canary® Company, incorporated in January 1995. Jan Mitchell Long and Christina Mitchell Mowery started the company selling The Mr. Canary® Finch Feeder, developed by their Dad, Ray Mitchell. In 2012 Chris retired and now Jan owns the business, though Chris is always a ‘speed-dial away’ for emergency help and moral support.
A subcontracted workforce in the Mitchell sisters’ hometown of Marion, Indiana, handles all sourcing, assembly, packaging, and shipping. Carey Services operates a workshop/job-training facility as part of its many support options for people with disabilities. From 1995 until 2016, Carey Services’ “consumers” built and shipped every feeder with a quality and with a timeliness that rivals the best in the industry. Today, the spirit of that legacy continues on in Mr. Canary Company’s partnership with The Arc of Greater Boone County in Lebanon, Indiana. This exciting new partnership is focused on mutual growth, and lifting everyone touched by the Mr. Canary Model.
The Mr. Canary® Company operates with a clear aim: to grow a business that builds quality products which make a profit…and a difference in the community. Our business model challenges stereotypes, marries enterprise to social responsibility and maintains a profitable bottom line. Our partnership demonstrates the potential of work to ignite achievement. Plus, with the exceptions of the Nyjer seed and the sock feeder textile which must be imported, all parts of Mr. Canary feeders are made in the U.S.A from recycled and recyclable material.
Oh, and one other thing, Mitchell Marketing is a 100% Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE), certified by the State of Indiana. Even though Jan was sure, paperwork that included every kind of report except pap smears and breast exams had to be submitted to satisfy the skeptics at the capital. As Jan says, “Finally, though, in 2003 Indiana recognized us as women…who own a business.
“So we have that going for us.”
About Our Suppliers
If “It takes a village to raise a child,” you can be sure it takes at least that many people, besides customers, to help a company stay in business. Without the expertise and support of our vendors, our company would never have grown to more than a passing idea. Working together for the past 19 years we’ve shown that small businesses can and do thrive in America when we imagine ‘business’ in broader, more colorful strokes. It turns out there are many more business models than they teach at Harvard Business School; The Mr. Canary® Company just uses a less conventional one.