East Coast MMA Fight Shop is a one stop shop for MMA training gear, clothing, and accessories for men, women, and children. They are located at 220 Sunrise Hwy in Rockville Centre. Their goal is to supply the local New York fight scene with an option to touch and try the products they would normally purchase online where before they couldn’t. East Coast MMA carries all of the top brands and want to eventually make an impact on the growing East Coast fight scene.
We caught up with East Coast MMA’s owner Zachary Lipari to find out more about this exciting new retail location:
Ingo Weigold: You recently had your Grand Opening, how did that go and was there anything special East Coast MMA put together for the inauguration?
Zachary Lipari: We opened our doors at 11am on March 14th and it was great because I had no idea if anyone even knew what we were doing, but to my surprise at 10:55 there were two people outside waiting to come in! This was definitely the right foot to start on. That was was technically our “soft opening” week but I’ve been hesitant to throw up proper Grand Opening signs since I think they are a bit cheesy and still haven’t. We had a little get together for family and friends who have suported me during this process but nothing crazy….yet.
Ingo Weigold: Sounds like things are definitely rolling along. Can you tell us a little about how/why you decided to open a retail MMA shop in New York?
Zachary Lipari: Being a fan of MMA for around 10 years now I knew I wanted to be involved with the sport in some capacity I just never knew how. One day I was reading something that mentioned an MMA retail shop and I just thought that that would be perfect for Long Island. MMA shops are popular on the west coast but few and far between here on the east. Once I had that idea I never looked back. Doing the research necessary I put together a business plan, found a location, and made connections with all the brands I wanted to associate myself with. I made a push pin map of all the local gyms in the area and made sure to go to them to let them know about the store and that they no longer had to go online to get quality MMA gear or clothing. The local fighters and gyms have been fantastic so far and I look forward to many years of dealing with them.
Ingo Weigold: As a new MMA shop, what are some of the challenges you face in getting your business off the ground in this industry?
Zachary Lipari: Well I quickly found out that I wasn’t the first person to try to open a MMA shop on the island. There have been two other attemps before me which unfortunately went out of business. I can tell you that this wasn’t due to lack of passion as I have spoken with both owners and I admire both of them for what they did. The cicumstances are different however and I feel like I can attribute their shortcomings to location which in any business is very important. I chose to open in Rockville Centre since people know the town and it serves as a nexus of sorts for Long Island and is a reasonable distance from Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. The LIRR is right out the door so if someone from the city wanted to get some MMA gear they would only have to take a 30 min train ride to get here. Promoting yourself properly is also crucial I think. We want to be very involved in the local fight community and already have sponsored the Ring of Combat at the Tropicana in Atlantic City and plan on participating in more events like that. I am working now at building an East Coast MMA Fight Team so watch out for that soon too!
Ingo Weigold: How are you looking to differentiate yourself from the competition in your area? Are there many MMA shops?
Zachary Lipari: We are the only show in town at the moment..I make sure that I chose everything in the store personally and that I only carry quality products that I can stand behind so I don’t have to worry about selling cheaply made merchandise. All of our prices are competitive or better than the internet but here you can try things on and hit the heavy bag to see if you like it before you make a purchase. The process of buying your MMA apparel here is much more personal as I like to get to know the customers and get their input. Also on Sundays I give 10% off all clothing if you can beat me 2/3 times in UFC Undisputed 2010..I like to think things like that are as fun for other people as they are for me.
Ingo Weigold: Which brands can customers find in your store?
Zachary Lipari: We carry all the brands you expect to see in a fight shop. This includes Hayabusa, Jaco, Venum, Tapout, UFC, Dethrone, RVCA, Sprawl, Clinch Gear, Triumph United, Warrior, One More Round, Bad Boy, etc.
Ingo Weigold: Do you offer a full array of MMA gear or just some clothing? In other words is this a fan shop or can fighters or people who train outfit themselves completely just by coming to East Coast MMA.
Zachary Lipari: Of course! I split the store up as half gear and half clothing and since we are new, the majority of customers coming in now are the fighters who are outftting themselves from head to toe in the top gear. I stock a full line of Hayabusa gear as well as the Bad Boy Pro Series, along with other brands peppered in such as Tapout, and Revgear and soon we will be one of the first places to carry Triumph United’s new Legionaire line of gloves! We also carry accessories for fighters such as ear guards, mouthpieces, and Namman Muay Thai Oil. I also sell training bags to order and if someone came in and wanted a cage we could make that happen!
Ingo Weigold: Is there anything else you would like the public to know about East Coast MMA?
Zachary Lipari: For everyone local I would say definitely try and stop by and check the store out, and lets all keep growing the east coast MMA scene!