ELORA – A chance encounter with a storefront for rent has led to a Hillsburgh couple taking a chance on moving their home-based bicycle service shop to Elora.
Elora Ski & Cycle will be open for business on Oct. 1 on Moir Street, at a former salon just outside of Downtown Elora.
Renato Spremulli, a co-owner alongside his wife Natalie, said in an interview at his under-construction shop that it was originally a home-based business in the Hillsburgh-area, called Trafalgar Ski & Cycle, but they were getting increasingly busy at home and running out of space.
One day, he and his wife biked to Elora and happened to see 23 Moir St. was available for rent.
“So we have a kind of crazy idea of what if we rented it and did some repairs and just basic things out of it and so we slept on it for a night,” Spremulli said.
“We said to ourselves ... If we don’t take it somebody else is going to take it and that’s just kind of one of those regrets you’ll end up living with.”
Their bread and butter will be servicing bicycles and skis but Spremulli said having a store allows for a chance to delve into some retail options which may include branching out into more niche sports popular in the area.
“We’ll be asking people a lot about what the town wants and I know that the town wants a local, reliable, honest and trustworthy mechanic,” Spremulli said.
He said the home shop will still be available for longer-term projects that he will work on outside of normal business hours. The extra work doesn’t bother him as he genuinely enjoys it and doesn’t view it as a job.
He has been involved in this industry, either participating or working, since he was young.
“I would always help friends and family with their problems, mechanical and technical issues, and just a little bit of tutoring possibly,” Spremulli said, adding he had great mentors along the way.
“I worked in a number of shops through university and in high school, it was just a great way to stay involved and out of trouble.”
He said he believes his experience, especially with vintage bikes, will be an asset to establishing this reputation in the community.
“I think our motto and mantra would be we’re here for the community and the locals first,” Spremulli said. “We’re not going to be an internet site and we don’t care to bring customers from all around. We’re just here for us and you guys.”