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Family Business Around Since 1894 Still Going Strong

Sumbaum Cycle has served generations of local families.

When you walk into Sumbaum Cycles, technicians are busy working on bicycles - repairing tires, doing tune-ups, getting them in top condition. Customers in the store are asking questions about bikes, anything from a question about a model on the floor to a more specific need to find a light bicycle for competing in a triathalon.

One can imagine that back in 1894, when the store began, the bikes were less technologically advanced, but the services were not much different.

For more than 20 years, Ted Sari has been at the helm of the store as its owner.

"I started off just assembling bikes," he said. "It was just a job for me in the early days."

Two decades later, it's much different. Sari always knew he wanted to own his own business. He did not always know that it would be the family-owned business, but that was how it worked out.

Sari said that while some people find bicycles in big box stores these days, customers find their way to Sumbaum for a variety of reasons. In addition to families looking for bicycles or individuals looking for repairs on their bikes, people change what kinds of bicycles they need based on why they are riding them.

He said a lot of his customers are looking for lighter-weight bikes because triathalons are gaining in popularity.

These days, customers are finding Sumbaum not just by word of mouth, but also by the store's Facebook and Foursquare.

In addition, Sari said good weather drives his business.

"Our busy season has to be now," Sari said.

In addition, familes who are staying closer to home on break bring up business.

Sumbaum has lots of local customers, but the closest bicycle shop is at least 15 miles away, so they have a large base of customers.

"We draw from all over," Sari said.

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Mr. Joliet August 22, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Ted Sari and his family are great people. He's always been a stand up guy and a very honest business man.
Ron Kremer (Editor) August 22, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Ted is a neighbor and friend. Nice to see that hard work pays off.

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