Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Jeremy Logan, Co-Founder of Motoretta, Toronto’s #1 scooter dealer, and Standard Apparel, a distributor of high-quality brands to retailers across North America. What was the inspiration behind his businesses? Find out in today’s profile…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I have two main jobs. I am the General Manager/Co-Founder of Motoretta, Toronto’s #1 scooter dealer located at 554 College St. In this role, I manage the day-to-day operations of the store and work with the team to ensure that we remain relevant as consumers’ tastes change. I am also the President/Co-Founder of Standard Apparel, a distributor of high-quality brands to retailers across North America.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
My partner in a previous business approached me one day after he returned from a trip to Italy, as he was very excited about having seen so many Vespa scooters on the streets there. He wanted to buy one for himself, but he couldn’t find a reputable shop in Toronto – so we decided to open our own shop, Motoretta. We travelled back and forth to Italy several times a year buying up vintage scooters and shipping them back to Toronto, lovingly restoring them for sale in our shop. They were beautiful, but people were a bit scared of vintage scooters so we approached Vespa in Italy about selling their new scooters in Motoretta (Vespa had just re-launched in the USA after a 15-year absence). Vespa liked the idea, and since my partner and I had plenty of distribution experience, we pitched them on becoming their official Canadian distributor. After months of negotiations, we came to an agreement and we launched Vespa in Toronto in Spring 2004. This year we also launched a one-of-a-kind Honda scooter boutique within the store, and are the first authorized Honda dealer in Canada to focus exclusively on scooters, so we are constantly growing and continuing to be the city’s premier scooter lifestyle retailer.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
I get to work with a bunch of talented people who are all inspired to do their best every day; and that we have been given the responsibility of taking care of some amazing brands in the Canadian market. Managing cash flow is one of the most challenging parts of the business.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Relaxing on a beach in Jamaica. Barring that, continuing to do what I do now. I enjoy coming into the office every day and building our businesses – Motoretta and Standard Apparel. And I don’t see them capping out in the next five years.
What does success look like to you?
I’ll let you know when I see it.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
It’s all a bit of a blur. I feel like I’m still on the escalator heading upwards. As an entrepreneur, you’re never satisfied with where you are. I keep pushing for more.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Entrepreneurship is not for the weak of heart. It requires a tremendous amount of determination and fortitude. I know everyone says it, but you really must have a love for it. Otherwise, you won’t survive. And always know, and be prepared for the fact that, your final destination won’t always be visible from your current vantage point. Be prepared to change course and be open to new opportunities.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Currently, I’m supporting the Elana Wladman Foundation at the Princess Margaret Hospital. Elena was a very good friend of my wife and I, and recently she lost a hard-fought battle with ovarian cancer. She was an inspiration to all who knew her.
What to you is notable?
Employees who care, and who are inspired. Don’t be the person who just punches the clock. Do more. Get noticed.
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Founded in 2001, Motoretta was the first Canadian scooter lifestyle store. The storefront location offers a vintage design with a modern feel, and a friendly environment for customers to explore this growing transportation trend. The store also curates an exciting collection of clothing and accessories, including brands like Fred Perry, Filson and Brixton.
Standard Apparel is a Toronto-based apparel distributor focused on bringing select high-quality brands to Canadian retailers including Oliver Spencer, Fred Perry, Filson, Sunspel, Aigle, Gloverall, Mads Norgaard and the signature collection from HBC.