The Path to Ground Zero's Success

Many board shops come and go, but this local business has steadily grown.

Brendan Mohr has spent more than two decades skateboarding in Fair Oaks, ultimately paving the way to open up boardshops in Roseville.

The 35-year-old co-owner of , a retail skate, snow and skimboard shop with four locations throughout the greater Sacramento area, grew up attending Fair Oaks Elementary as well as . He credits the community as the training grounds for a life-long passion with action sports - a passion he can now help hone in a new generation.

Mohr can recall his early days; skateboarding around Fair Oaks neighborhoods on a board he cobbled together from spare parts his friends gave him.

“I didn't grow up very wealthy, I would piece together parts, buy them off of people I knew at school, then eventually had a complete (skateboard) and got into it," Mohr said. "It was really a lifestyle that didn't exist in other places, skateboarding is a California thing that has expanded throughout the world."

Shortly after graduating from Del Campo High School, Mohr, along with friend Seth Sternin, noticed a need for a stand-up, rider-owned-and-operated board and clothing store in the Sacramento area. 

In 1997, the then 20-year-old Mohr and 21-year-old Sternin made the decision to open the first Ground Zero Boardshop in Davis. At the time, Sternin was attending UC Davis and noticed there was a high demand for a retail shop that catered to the likes of the skateboarding and snowboarding community. 

"Little board shops would open up here and there but would always go out of business," Mohr said. "There are fundamental business reasons why they ended up going out of business. We really analyzed what would work in Davis; when I was 18 we made the decision to do it and opened up after two years of planning."

The Davis location found success and it would be just a few years after opening the first store that Mohr and Sternin would open a second location in Roseville. 

To date, the Ground Zero franchise has expanded to four locations: Davis, Roseville, Natomas and Arden. A second Roseville store opened in the Galleria last summer for a short time, but has since closed.

Mohr says that although economic times are rough, business is still steady.

“The current state of the economy has stunted our growth; there is not really room to expand in an economy like this," Mohr explained. "We still have plans for the future; hopefully we’ll expand further."

Growing up a skateboarder and snowboarder, Mohr knows first-hand the need for local companies to support the ever-growing scene. Ground Zero not only sponsors 15 local talents in skateboarding, snowboarding and skimboarding the store hosts demos, competitions and events for each.

"We just held a free Hyperlite Wakeboard demo last week that was open to anyone," Mohr said. "We will be having a skimboard competition and demo for all ages at the Arden store the last weekend in July. Sign up for our newsletter on the website to stay up to date with all our events, sales and goings on."

Authors Notes: Ground Zero Boardshop recently won first-place on the KCRA news A-List for Best Men's Clothing and placed second behind Nordstroms for best men's shoes.


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