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Veteran Serfas manager Denson launches new company

Published March 4, 2014
Torcano Industries goes IBD-exclusive with ‘disruptive’ products and accessories.

LADERA RANCH, Calif. (BRAIN) — Longtime Serfas general manager John Denson has left the company and launched his own IBD-exclusive sales and distribution venture, Southern California-based Torcano Industries.

In mid-March, Torcano will begin delivering its first product, the Orp Smarthorn Bike Light, to about 750 U.S. specialty bike dealers. All products will be sold dealer direct in the U.S., and Torcano expects to have more than 40 outside reps covering every region of the country by the middle of the month.

The company will not sell consumer direct or through big-box or web sellers like Amazon, and will manage MAP closely, said Denson, whose tenure with Serfas dates back to the company’s earliest days two decades ago shipping product out of owner Ray Kuipers’ home in Orange County, California.

“We are supporting IBDs out of the gate,” Denson said. “As a supplier, I want to be an example. All of our business will be referred through an IBD. What that does for us is strengthen the relationship between the shop and Torcano by helping them grow their business.”

Torcano is less a brand itself than a distributor of its own independent brands, each of which will have its own website, brand manager and unique culture, Denson said. The company’s focus will be on “disruptive products that make sense, not niche products,” he added.

Billed as “the first bike light to break the sound barrier,” the Orp Smarthorn Bike Light was created by Portland-based industrial designer Toren Orzeck, who is a partner in Torcano. Denson expects to launch at least one additional brand in the coming year, with new products coming from the Orp brand as well.

In the meantime, Torcano is setting up an office in the Orange County community of Ladera Ranch that will house the company’s sales and marketing, warehousing and, eventually, a design studio. Former Serfas marketing director Jason Norman is now director of marketing for Torcano.

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