Nestled in the River Springs Town Center, the family-owned and operated Just Ride Bicycles opened this week. The shop offers new bicycles, trade-in offers on bicycles for growing children, cycling accessories, bicycle rentals and repairs.
Owners David and Jodi Luppino have been in the bicycle business for 12 years. When the Luppino family moved to Florida, they wanted to own and operate a business of their own. David Luppino's younger brother, Chad, took an interest in cycling. Through his hobby, the family found its niche.
The Luppinos owned three cycling franchises for 12 years in the Tampa area. They sold them about a year ago. But the Luppinos couldn't stay away. They returned to the business because of their love for cycling.
"Once you get it in your blood, you can't get it out," David Luppino said.
Luppino sees the Riverview area as a great location for cycle enthusiasts.
"In this area of the county, the traffic for road rides is pretty good," he said. "There are several trails close by such as the Alafia Mountain Bike Trail and the Boyette Mountain Bike Trail. And the USA Official BMX Training Facility in Riverview is about 5 miles from Just Ride Bicycles."
The store offers bicycles for all ages and interests. Prices vary, but Luppino mostly carries bicycles costing $300 to $600. Just Ride Bicycles is at 13431 Boyette Road, Riverview. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. For information call, (813) 381-3907.
GFS Marketplace is another bulk option
GFS Marketplace, which stands for Gordon Food Services, opened Monday, a first in Hillsborough County for the Michigan-based chain.
Located at 730 E Brandon Blvd., the store offers bulk and large-quantity food and consumer products.
While some shoppers might compare it to Sam's Club, Costco or BJ's, there is at least one significant difference. Unlike many warehouse-type stores, there is no membership fee to shop at GFS Marketplace.
Rick LeBlanc, store manager for the Brandon location, said the store also offers a consistent inventory.
"There may be weeks where you buy one type of green beans from a store, and then the brand will switch," LeBlanc said. "That changes the consistency of the product. That does not happen here."
The Brandon store also offers several specialized services for customers including meat and cheese slicing. They also have fundraising opportunities available for schools and nonprofit organizations.
The store customizes bottled water labels for groups or organizations. For party planners and those hosting large groups of people, GFS Marketplace offers Menu Wizard, a program that helps determine items needed to throw a party and how much to order based on the number of guests.
"The thing that makes us stand out is our commitment to customer service," LeBlanc said. "Our associates are knowledgeable about the products and are here to help customers get what they need."
Brandon GFS Marketplace will hold its grand opening June 14 to 20. It will hold a Tastefest on June 19 and 20 that will feature several vendors sampling items available for purchase. Hours at GFS Marketplace are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call (813) 681-9871.