Passion for scooters fuels Knoxville startup
Perhaps you’re a college student looking for an inexpensive way to get around campus. Or, maybe your office is downtown and you want a way to get around that’s quick and convenient… and easy to park! Well, a scooter is just what you need. And Java Racers is just the place to get one.
Mario Aleksic and Zoran Kvrgic opened Java Racers after having met in a Serbian church. There, they discovered that they shared more than religious beliefs; they also shared a passion for scooters, motorbikes, and Knoxville, Tennessee. And while Java Racers, located on West Jackson Avenue, opened its doors less than a year ago, the history with, and love of, scooters that the owners share goes back many, many years. Both Mario and Zoran are of European descent — Zoran from Serbia and Mario from Austria — and as anyone who has visited a major European city will understand, these friends-turned-business-partners were practically born riding scooters.
Why choose Knoxville to open a moped business? After visiting the city on several occasions, the two basically fell in love with it. The downtown, says Alex, “reminds me of my younger days in Vienna. People are out and about, the cobblestone streets, and the shops. A place with history. Knoxville seemed to us the perfect place to start a scooter business.” Zoran agrees, recalling what he said at the time: “And, there are no mopeds around. We need to do something! Let’s make it happen.” And they did. They both walked away from their prior lives, oftentimes thinking that perhaps they were both crazy, and rode in Knoxville… on Java Racers, of course.
Java Racer’s selection of Wolf scooters ranges from 50cc to 150cc and are priced between $2500 and $3500. Mario and Zoran, both being avid scooter riders, did what any product researcher would do before committing to a particular brand: They test drove everything. “We went out into the marketplace,” says Mario, “and bought just about every scooter we could find. Of course, it’s what we love to do so it wasn’t really work(!), but it was also the best way to decide on what brand of scooter we would carry.” After exhaustive research, hundreds of miles, and several brands, they settled on Wolf, a scooter brand that’s been named the #1 campus scooter by College
Magazine and featured on the cover of Motorcycle & Powersports News Magazine as “America’s hip millennial Scooter Company.” Both accolades support the Java Racer marketing plan beautifully. “The Wolf scooter is ideal for Knoxville,” says Zoran, “because Knoxville is an ideal city for scooters. A scooter is perfect for college students, for instance. They’re affordable to buy, to own (getting on average, 100 miles per gallon with little more than the occasional oil change), and easy to park. It’s the perfect way to get around downtown. Not to mention the fact that they’re a lot of fun to ride!”
In the end, Mario and Zoran are more than just the owners of Java Racer. They’re true enthusiasts who live, sleep, and breath scooters. They only sell the scooter that they themselves would ride. When not working, they’re riding. They ride with customers, they ride with their friends, they ride with their kids. Walk into Java Racer and you’re getting much more than a sales pitch. You’re getting the honest opinions of two guys who are dedicated to riding, who know scooters, and are committed to making sure that the customer gets the ride that suits him, or her, best.
Java Racer 502-466-5282 304 West Jackson Ave. #101 Knoxville TN 37902 www.javaracer.com