In-Depth Biz Profile: Valenti Sports
Rochester's Valenti Sports has been customizing uniforms for sports teams for nearly twenty years. The sporting goods store and uniform distributor recently expanded and moved. As YNN's Leah George shows us in today's business profile, the Valenti's still keep the way they operate the family business "old school."
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John Valenti/ President Valenti Sports, said "I have four boys and I said to myself, I can’t keep buying sneakers, and soccer balls, and basketballs, I said, this is gonna put me in the poor house. So, I said I’m gonna open up my own sporting goods store. The rest is history."
John Valenti built Valenti Sports using business principals his father taught him.
"He’s the only boss I ever had, he started Valenti brothers whole sale foods in the public market and he just told me, give people service, quality and price and your local, you’ll be fine,” said John.
That philosophy is why John's son Joe, says Valenti Sports is successful.
Joe said, "If you don't get a team their uniform on time, you're not gonna get the business. So, we have to maintain a very high standard of service, getting uniforms done quickly, doing them right so they come back, tell their friends, tell the other coaches, and that's how we've grown 20 percent each year for five years straight."
Joe says Valenti Sports outfits about 600 local sports teams, from little leagues and high schools to colleges and the pros.
"This is our team show room, this is where coaches come to outfit a football team or a little league or a youth soccer club we set up all the samples show the new Adidas gear, the new under Armour gear, the new Nike gear, and they pick out what they want,” added Joe.
Joe's mom Joanie also works at Valenti Sports. She says noon appointments fill up the fastest.
Joan said, "At lunchtime we always have homemade food because my husband's a great cook, like chicken French Veal French we have linguini and clam sauce."
"The coaches love to come here and eat," said John.
"Somethin' you don’t see every day there’s so many big box stores but we have the family atmosphere where you can come in feel like family and just talk and eat and eat and shop," said Joe.
Custom uniforms make up about 80 percent of Valenti Sports business. Retail is the other 20.
"People come in for a high school team or a college team even and walk out with three dozen footballs or three dozen basketballs or a 150 soccer balls," said John.
Joe's brother Philip is Valenti Sports VP. He handles sales.
John said, "Believe it or not, Philip doesn’t go on any sales calls, he literally is at his desk most of the day just answering the phone filling orders, he doesn’t even have time to go out and get new customers, they’re actually coming to us, which is unheard of and we’re very lucky to have that."
Joe said, “Working with a family business can be stressful at times this is a great was for us to relieve so of that stress and keep strong family ties.”
The pickleball court out back is also a way for the family full of current and former professional athletes to show customers they play as hard as they work.
"We were the customers that we now serve."
Valenti Sports.This Weeks in depth business profile. Leah George YNN.