Inner Melbourne bike store Flemington Cycles is set to be sold this month, with long-term owner Damien Lack departing on a radical career change.
After owning the suburban store for 27 years, Damien is joining his father-in-law in a growing biosecurity business specialising in fruit fly control.
The sale of the specialist Giant store is poised to be completed in the coming days, with the buyer reportedly already involved in the bike industry.
Earlier this month, Damien had declared on social media the store could be shutting down, after “false starts” for potential sales had left him without a buyer.
“It is personally very sad to be leaving without the door staying open,” he had stated in a Facebook post.
“However, I feel the legacy that myself and my team have made in Flemington has been one that has always been positive, helpful and community based.”
With the impending sale now back on track, will end an association with the industry that dates back to when Damien was a boy, when his father John operated the family’s Mallard Cycles store in the regional Victorian city of Sale.
“It’s been my passion for 40-odd years, so giving that away is going to be tricky,” he said.
“We’ve had amazing support from our community and locals have expressed great disappointment we’re going.
“However, most of the staff will be staying on and running the store. It will only be me that is stepping away.”
Damien bought Flemington Cycles in 1995 and later bought the adjoining premises to expand the store.
It has been a Giant store for the past 16 years and before that, it had been the longest serving Cannondale dealer in Victoria.
He made the decision late last year to leave the bike industry and help build the Biotrap Australia business his father-in-law has operated for over a decade.
Biotrap Australia imports a range of fruit fly controls and does a lot of work with government departments in Australia and NZ to monitoring and eradicate fruit fly.
He said the planned expansion includes introducing a retail arm.