Franchisee Spotlight: Signarama St. Paul

by Alicia Peregory on June 16, 2015

Signarama St. Paul has a long and storied history, starting back when they opened their doors over 20 years ago. The original owners, Chuck and Lori Stampfel, opened the franchise in 1994, and was later bought out by current owner, Darrin Bergman.

Darrin celebrated the story’s 20th anniversary last year, cleverly tying it in with Signarama’s overall rebranding at the same time.

“The entire Signarama franchise is undergoing a massive overhaul of the brand, and we thought it would be a great way to turn a big milestone into an even bigger celebration,” Darrin told us. “Additionally, we renovated the store recently as well, and the anniversary/rebranding was a great way to showcase our new store to the public.”

Signarama St. PaulThe celebration was a long time in the making. Darrin took over the Signarama store two years ago and began planning on how to make the store his own, culminating with the brand overhaul and 20th anniversary.

Being self-employed before taking over Signarama St. Paul, Darrin had the makings of a true entrepreneur. The work ethic and the desire to not only succeed in his business but to grow it into an empire fueled the desire to open a small business. Over the course of a few years, Darrin did his due diligence to research the different small business opportunities, even taking the step to put in an offer on a business or two.

When Signarama St. Paul came onto the market, the fact that it was a franchise did not even tie into Darrin’s decision to purchase the store. He really liked the fact that it was a small business, with ties in the local community.

Darrin also wanted to purchase a business that was product based, as he was coming from a small business consulting background – he wanted a business where he could get his hands into the inner workings of the business and see the results, rather than everything being pencil pushing and paperwork.

Each customer has his own special order, and every order is different so every day is different, which appealed to Darrin also. After the business stabilized under Darrin’s leadership, he transitioned into key account management and operating the financial side of the business. Currently, Darrin leads a team of five employees, including design staff, inside/outside salespeople, and administration employees inside a 2,000 square foot shop. And in 19 more years, Darrin will be celebrating the store’s 40th anniversary.

If you’d like to meet Darrin, or find your local Signarama store, please use our online store locator. You can also visit the Signarama website to see the different products we carry.

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– who has written 79 posts on Signarama Blog.

is a marketing coordinator at Signarama headquarters in West Palm Beach, Florida, working in all facets of the marketing department. She has been with Signarama since she left college, but has also had internships in business development, a consumer product launch, and events and trade show coordination. She frequently writes about issues and developments in the sign making industry, the Signarama company, and its franchisees.

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