Whether you think of yourself as a Locavore, Naturalist, Health Food Enthusiast, Animal Rights Person, Recycler, Preparer or just recognize the psychological benefits of high touch activities like chickens in the low touch high tech world we live in, chickens make sense at a personal level for a great variety of people. And they have for 10’s of thousands (if not more) of years.
They’re easier than dogs, as interesting as cats, and put food on the table. They’ll eat your table scraps too : ) And, you’re not the fringe crazy person next door. People have been doing “backyard chickens” for centuries. Its only been in the last 50 or so years that it was different than the previous who knows how many. We literally believe that chickens have the ability to change your life for the better. That cannot be said of many things.
We get asked all the time, “do you guys really build the coops you sell?” The short answer is yes, but maybe more importantly, we actually use the coops we sell.
The Twinings live in the ultimate product development and testing environment. They keep chickens, a lot of chickens, in their back yard just like their customers do. Not just one breed of chicken either, but dozens of breeds. They are constantly tinkering with ideas and improvements to Urban Coop Company coops and dreaming up new accessories and designs. There is nothing on earth they love more than meeting the people they build coops for. Yes they are customers, but many become friends.
Several years back Dyan & Montie seriously considered the purchase of a medium sized egg farm only to come to the conclusion that it was too outdated and fixing it would not make financial sense. In December of 2012 they revisited an earlier idea to get into the backyard chicken keeping rebirth but were not sure of the right approach. They finally settled on the idea of building a very particular backyard chicken coop that met a series of design goals. Best available materials, integrated waterers and feeders, predator strong, multi-climate design, pretty and able to be shipped nationally. They had personally been dissatisfied with coops they themselves could purchase. Urban Coop Company was born. From the initial conception of the idea of the company to the day-to-day operations everyone in the family was to play an important part. Several notions were key in the Twining’s leap of faith into the coop business. Most convincing was a deep belief that the locally produced food movement was for real and the renewed realization that having chickens made a lot of sense, to a lot of people, for a lot of different reasons, was not a passing fad.
As a life-long entrepreneur, it was important to Montie for his children to grow up understanding the precepts of business and the value of customer service. He’s done everything from running publicly traded consulting companies, to building multi-million dollar Super Yachts (Calixas Yachts) to running commercial and residential construction companies… and a half dozen other ventures between. He’s an inventor with several issued patents. People who know him best describe him as a “beaver”… always building something and can’t really help himself.
He designs the Round-Top Chicken Coops™ from the ground up with consultation from Dyan the Texas A&M poultry department, industry experts and oddly, FedEx. They had to ship right to customers doors. He is responsible for overseeing all aspects of fabrication and assembly of the coops. He’s passionate about building a quality product and oversees a small team of dedicated workers who, like him, think it’s fun building chicken coops. During the peak season, their staff swells to a dozen or so mostly college kids from Austin. He’s constantly innovating some new idea and plans to file more patents around coop innovations.
Call on the phone and it’s likely that you’ll talk with Dyan, “the chicken lady” in the family. She enjoys answering questions about coops and chickens and loves interacting with customers. She is a voracious reader and has a crazy volume of chicken facts swirling around in her head. She prides herself in providing support after the sale and is dedicated to making sure every customer gets up and running as quickly as possible after buying a coop. Not really a “salesman”, Dyan is most happy helping someone find the right coop for their needs, even if its not an Urban Coop Company Coop. But, she’s a little biased as she and her girls use their coops daily and that feedback loop goes into continued evolution of the designs and assures that customers get highly refined features. She really knows coops.
Teenagers Olivia & Cassandra are officers in their local 4H, show chickens and know more than their fair share about chickens too. They’ve been known to help cut wood, do inventory of materials and of course help out mom in the packaging department when they’re not in school. Cassandra and Olivia also have their own little business, Huevos Locos, selling hatching eggs, chicks and started pullets. They’ve also recently branched out into incubator rentals.
Their son Nathan is the head gopher and chicken catcher. They generate a lot of scrap wood around the shop and his main job is to keep things neat and orderly. He has energy to spare and he’s kept busy sweeping and cleaning.
Montie’s oldest daughter Courtney, is a fifth grade school teacher and ideas even swirl around in her head about Science and Math curriculum that can be based around chickens. In fact, several Elementary Schools have bought Urban Coop Company Coops so the idea may not be that “chicken brained” after all.
All of this is a long winded way of saying that the family behind Urban Coop Company is just as excited as you are about backyard chickens and they know what they’re doing. You’ll get more than you paid for when doing business with them and they’re committed to great customer service. Thanks for reading about Urban Coop Company.