St. Louis Launch
velofix’ First Female Franchise Partner Launches in St. Louis
velofix, North America’s largest fleet of premium Mobile Bike Shops, launches in St. Louis with a woman leading the way!
Francesca DeRanzo, is the franchises first female owner/operator and is one of thirteen Franchise Partners launching new locations this Spring. DeRanzo has been in the cycling industry for over ten years working in bike shops as well as directly for bike manufacturers – consequently her decision to join velofix is well-suited.
DeRanzo states, “I knew I wanted to work in the cycling industry and be my own boss, but when researching my options, owning a brick-and-mortar bike shop was way too expensive because of the cost to lease space and hold inventory. For me, velofix is an opportunity to continue to do what I love, work with bikes, and become profitable more quickly without huge risks or big start-up costs.”
Not only was the low-cost investment appealing to DeRanzo, but the ability to own a cycling business in a predominantly male-dominated industry was also appealing. “I was the first woman to work at several bike shops all over the US, everywhere from Tennessee to New York – so I’m used to breaking the norm in that regard. If I can be an example for women to venture into velofix down the road, the more the merrier!” says DeRanzo.
Years of experience has taught DeRanzo that women customers and those not as knowledgeable about cycling tend to be intimidated when visiting bike shops. That accompanied by people who simply do not have time to take their bikes in to get serviced, opens up a prime market for velofix services. DeRanzo adds, “I’m excited to be able to help women or new cycling enthusiasts, who are too scared to go to a shop, with all of their cycling needs and questions.”
The velofix concept is all about helping riders save time and ride more. Providing service both residentially, at a customer’s home or place of business, and commercially, through corporate lunchtime learning sessions that cover bike safety and basic maintenance, the velofix promise is to offer a premium service experience at a location most convenient to our customers.
velofix Co-Founder and CFO Davide Xausa says, “The cycling industry is male-dominated, but there are some amazing female mechanics out there who would also be great business owners, Francesca is one of them. With her years of experience and knowledge, we know she is going to make riders in the St. Louis market extremely happy. We can’t wait to get her up and running and support her while she does amazing things in her market!”
Founded with a passion for cycling, velofix was launched in Vancouver in 2012 by Chris Guillemet, Boris Martin and Davide Xausa, who share a common belief that bicycles can help change the world. Media coverage for the business has been great with Entrepreneur Magazine most recently recognizing velofix as “one of the most impressive mobile franchises”. In 2014, velofix was featured on the CBC’s Dragons Den (Canada’s version of Shark Tank), which resulted in Jim Treliving coming on board as an investor and advisor. Charles Chang of Lyra Growth Partners (who recently sold Vega/Sequel Naturals) has also joined as an investor. In 2016, velofix will be operating in every major Canadian market, with plans to expand to a total of 75 franchises across North America.