An experienced franchisee has taken control of five area signage stores and their production center, while his past venture is also under new ownership.
Rob White, a Richmond native, purchased the local FastSigns franchise from Bill Sroka, who began the franchise here in the mid-1980s. FastSigns is a national retail chain that produces banners, signs and other graphics to businesses and individuals. The parties completed the deal Thursday for an undisclosed sum.
“It fits my model of what I’ve tended to do well with, which is a product-based, business-to-business organization that is all about service,” White said of the acquisition.
The deal took longer than expected to close because the five retail locations, which are leased, have different landlords. White also had to negotiate with a separate partnership to acquire the production center west of Short Pump. The deal was financed with an SBA loan from First Bank Financial Centre of Wisconsin.
White said he was attracted to the FastSigns brand because of its “good reputation” and presence in the area. The FastSigns location at 6213 W. Broad St. in the Tan-A-Plaza was the 13th franchise issued by the company. White also acquired FastSigns storefronts in Midlothian, Henrico County and downtown.
He also said Richmond’s growing business community was a factor in the acquisition. White previously lived in Waco, Texas.
“Richmond being a growing market, it’s certainly something that attracted me to this business,” White said.
But the primary reason White is back in Richmond is to be close to his grandchildren. His daughter had three children while White served as president of Rainbow International, which is headquartered in Waco. Prior to his appointment as the brand’s president, White operated the Richmond-area Rainbow Restoration franchise.
The Rainbow Restoration franchise that White previously owned is also under new management. Charles Blackburn sold the Midlothian residential and commercial restoration company to Aaron Fisher, who previously owned Rainbow Restoration franchises in Fredericksburg and Hampton Roads. Blackburn acquired the franchise from White.
“This was kind of a ‘right time, right place’ transaction,” Blackburn said in a statement. “[Fisher’s] experience operating the Rainbow franchises in Fredericksburg and Hampton Roads will provide a seamless transition of high quality and service to our current clients of Rainbow in the greater metropolitan area of Richmond.”
Fisher, who sold those franchises in 2014, has lived in Richmond since last year. The Midlothian Rainbow Restorations is located at 3633 Speeks Dr.