Mike Franze, owner of Fullerton Bikes, Buena Park Bikes, and Fullerton E-Bikes, has continued to make a name for himself as a successful small business owner. Carrying his love for biking from an early age until today, Franze is an inspiration for anyone trying to turn their passion into a viable profession.
For as long as Mike can remember, he has always had a love for biking. As a child, Mike notes that biking was everything to him, for all he ever wanted to do was ride his bike around the neighborhood. He would often read his BMX action magazines in the evenings to further stay connected with the biking world. It is with this innate excitement for biking that he is able to connect with his customers so well.
Despite Mike’s love for the bicycle community, his journey didn’t begin as the bike business owner that we know him as today. Instead, he began his career working with his father in the grocery store business. Throughout his life, Mike notes that his father has played a significant role in building his own passion and entrepreneurial spirit.
After seeing the way that his father put all of his heart and soul into his work in the grocery store business, he knew that he didn’t want to work for the man forever as well, and instead he wanted to pursue his own thing one day.
Mike notes that although he enjoyed some of the aspects of his later jobs in corporate America, he knew that there was something missing. While he didn’t know exactly what was next for him to do, the memories of his father doing what he loved are what gave him the push he needed to take over Fullerton Bikes.
When the opportunity to take over Fullerton Bikes arose, Mike knew that it was a huge roll of the dice. Despite the fact that there was no guarantee for a steady paycheck or income, the support of his wife and family was enough for him to take the leap of faith towards his dreams. This decision, as it turns out, was one of the best choices he could’ve made for himself.
Mike mentions that one of the most rewarding parts of owning Fullerton Bikes is making a difference in his customer’s lives and helping them find the best bike for their needs. Mike loves to hear the stories of his customers using his bicycles to train, compete, and win in bicycle races. Even better, it especially warms his heart to sell a bike to a father for his child, only to later sell a bike to that same child for their own kid.
In today’s dwindling brick-and-mortar marketplace, Mike Franze continues to make Fullerton Bikes a staple in the community. Despite the rise of digital sales, Franze stands behind his mission of providing a family-friendly store environment for each and every one of his customers. Mike believes that it is the good vibes radiating from his shop that keep his customers coming back.
In addition to providing excellent products, Mike emphasizes that the way he treats his customers is equally as important as the bicycles themselves. Throughout his life, he saw the way that his father treated people with respect and kindness and hopes to emulate this with his all of his customer interactions as well.
If anyone knows how to build a solid team, it’s Mike. Just as the biking community is filled with great conversations and friendships over the shared love of biking, so does the environment at Fullerton Bikes. There is no question that Mike’s team of bike enthusiasts carries the same passion and drive for the business as he does, as the team often has fun riding bikes before work together and many have worked for Mike since the beginning in 2003.
Both Cliff Jennings, sales associate, and Jeff Davis, general manager, share nothing but positive sentiments throughout their experience of working under Mike’s leadership. Cliff specifically notes that after Mike took over Fullerton, it only continued to escalate to a higher caliber operation and cannot ask for a better place to work. Mike himself believes that his employees are crucial for the success of his organization.
Just as Mike’s father served as a role model for all of the work he is accomplishing today, Mike’s son, Brent, is also following in Mike’s footsteps. This father and son duo bonded over their love of riding bicycles together over the years, building the foundations of a tight-knit relationship that continues to this day. Brent not only currently works as a sales associate at Fullerton Bikes, but he also has plans of taking over the business one day.
Brent’s vision for Fullerton Bikes is to continue to uphold the legacy of his father and grandfather. In his future leadership, he hopes to only continue what his father started in playing a vital role in growing Fullerton’s cycling community.
It is clear that the decision to take over Fullerton Bikes has paid off for Mike in more ways than one. If Mike and his employees continue to exhibit the same passion and excitement for the Fullerton biking community as they do today, there is no doubt that the possibilities for this bike shop are truly endless.