As seen in HME News. Written by Liz Beaulieu, Editor.
BOCA RATON, Fla. – With a new franchise location in Gilbert, Ariz., Mobility City is about one-quarter of the way to reaching its goal of 200 locations across the country.
The company, which sells, rents and repairs mobility equipment for cash pay, had about 50 locations in January and has plans to stretch out into Nevada, California and Washington state later in the year, says Diane Baratta, CEO.
“Our idea is, ‘Come to our showroom, where there is a variety of equipment to sit in and a racetrack to drive on,’” she said. “You can’t get that from Amazon.”
Baratta runs Mobility City with Vinny Baratta, COO, who has deep roots in the HME industry that began in his grandfather’s Apothecary in Long Island, N.Y., and who sold his own company, Homecare America, to a large medical distributor in the late 1990s.
Running on repairs
In addition to its racetracks, Mobility City is making a name for itself with its white-glove delivery service and in-home repairs. Diane and Vinny Baratta actually first met by phone when Diane was trying to find a provider to fix her late-husband’s mobility equipment and Vinny answered the phone at the original Mobility City location in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“I couldn’t get anyone to do the repair – it was a nightmare,” she said. “Everyone else asked if we bought the equipment from them and we hadn’t, so they wouldn’t do the repair. Or they asked if we could bring the equipment in. No, we can’t, you’re talking about a disabled person. But Vinny sent a tech and fixed the chair.”
Diane and Vinny Baratta reconnected through an online dating app several years later and soon were married and working together to expand Mobility City into the franchise that it is today.
Willing to evolve
Diane and Vinny Baratta tag-team potential franchise owners, with Diane vetting them to see if they’re “a good fit,” she says, and then, if they pass, Vinny giving them a presentation on Mobility City’s “recipe” and gauging their flexibility, she says.
“Vinny has been doing this his entire life and our job is to help you not make the mistakes (we did) so you can focus on running the business properly,” she said. “If you follow our recipe, it works. But you also have to evolve with the franchise. If you owned a McDonald’s and they launch a buy one, get one free, you do it. Mobility City has evolved and will continue to evolve.”