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Kunstadt Sports .

KUNSTADT FAMILY HISTORY Our love of sports goes way beyond the recent history of our successful family business. Eric’s, Ron’s and Monica’s paternal grandparents have been accomplished athletes as were their parents. Granny was a competitive skier in the 1930s while grandpa excelled in gymnastics and kayaking. The next generation continued in the family tradition, with their father Peter having been a member of the Czechoslovakian National Ski Team in the 1960s and continuing his ski racing career well past his 70th birthday. Pete is considered elite in the Canadian Masters Alpine competitions. Mother Susan has developed a unique reputation of being one of the most tenacious and well respected fitness instructors in the city of Ottawa. It is a small wonder that Eric and Ronnie became accomplished alpine ski racers and later, progressed to the sport of Ski Jumping where they both earned their spots on the Ontario Team. Monica, while being an excellent skier, never chose to become a ski competitor, but indulged in competitive rugby, volleyball and other sports. Our pride and joy, the grand kids (there are seven of them by the last count) are all very accomplished Alpine skiers and they all are on their path to becoming prominent Alpine ski racers. In the summer, Monica’s boys are involved in competitive football, rugby and basketball, Eric’s kids bike, swim and play soccer and water polo in the summer. Ronnie’s daughter Olivia water skis with her cousins in the summer. HOW IT ALL STARTED The year was 1988 when we decided to offer stringing services to others. As the seasons changed, we switched to tuning skis as we were preparing for the ski racing season. Eric and Ronnie were serious tennis competitors in the 1980s. So good were they at the game of tennis that it was necessary to have their tennis racquets restrung multiple times per week, which resulted in considerable expenses. A more economical solution needed to be found. An opportunity presented itself as a small sports store in the centre of Ottawa went out of business and offered all their equipment and inventory for sale. We gave the young lady an offer, haggled a little and finally became the proud owners of a used racquet stringer and all the string that was in that store. We set up a tiny workshop in our home (we all lived under the same roof and Monica was just a little girl). Ronnie, having worked for a now defunct sports store in Kanata, had the necessary skill to teach us all how to string tennis racquets. Soon after, we decided to offer stringing services to others. As the seasons changed, we switched to tuning skis as we were preparing for the ski racing season. It was just natural that we chose to offer our ski tuning services to the public and voilá, Kunstadt Sports was born in the basement of the Kunstadt family home. Right from the outset, we recognised the importance of quality personal service. We picked up and delivered racquets and skis to our new customers and our client base was steadily growing. AUGUST 1993 – THE GRAND OPENING IN KANATA And one day in August 1993, we got an opportunity to rent a small corner of the building in the strip mall on Hazeldean Road in Kanata. A new sports store in Kanata was born! These formative five years were great. The boys were in school, Pete worked full time as an engineer at a local nuclear technology company and after hours, we all worked on whatever was needed to sustain our fledgling little business. Every March Break, we all flew to Whistler B.C. and happily spent all the money we have made over the year. By summer of 1993, we felt that a change of location was required. And one day in August 1993, we got an opportunity to rent a small corner of the building in the strip mall on Hazeldean Road in Kanata. That was the beginning of a proud new sports store in Kanata. Of course, no distributor would entertain the idea of providing an unproven, unknown new store with new inventory. We started buying up used bike and ski equipment, serviced and cleaned it and offered it for sale. Our favourite slogan was (and still is to some extent) “USED BUT NOT ABUSED SPORTS EQUIPMENT”. Dr. Bruce Firestone, a well known Ottawa entrepreneur, and the founder of the Ottawa Senators hockey team, took a liking to our humble effort and acted as our mentor and supporter. We owe him a vote of gratitude. Our business was slowly gaining recognition. It wasn’t long until the media discovered that we had something unique and we started to receive some more serious attention by reputable sports equipment suppliers, some of whom began to be willing to take a chance on us and let us have some spanking new inventory. We did not disappoint and those early bold suppliers ended up laughing all the way to the bank, back in the 1990s. THE EVOLUTION OF OUR STORES Right from the outset, our Kanata store was steadily expanding in the 1990s and eventually, we were able to acquire the whole building and arrange it to best mat

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