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Van Cafe to merge with Rocky Mountain Westy!
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Opt Overland
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Van Cafe to merge with Rocky Mountain Westy! Reply with quote

Busdepot wrote:

As for the Bus Depot, we are the exception to the rule, as we're actually expanding. Just a few months ago we added more warehouse space, and we've been regularly buying inventory from other wholesalers and retailers that closed or downsized. Thanks entirely to your support, of course!


Subtle and classy shameless plug, oh so typical.
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Busdepot
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Van Cafe to merge with Rocky Mountain Westy! Reply with quote

Classy and shameless. I'm not sure whether to be flattered or insulted! Smile
OK, I guess I'll cop to both of them.
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Merian
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Van Cafe to merge with Rocky Mountain Westy! Reply with quote

kamzcab86 wrote:
... what about the awesome illustrations??!


Wink


I hope you have saved yours -- they are about to appreciate in price like barn door Splitties
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Van Cafe to merge with Rocky Mountain Westy! Reply with quote

kamzcab86 wrote:
Well, the cookies are nice, but, while I've never personally requested one... what about the awesome illustrations??!


Wink

I never got one on a box, but I hope Christian keeps up with his cool designs on the swag.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Van Cafe to merge with Rocky Mountain Westy! Reply with quote

To the VanCafe folks: Welcome home....

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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DometicLover
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Van Cafe to merge with Rocky Mountain Westy! Reply with quote

Hopefully Rocky Mountain Westy will reduce their shipping fees to Canada as they are unbelievably high.....
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Syncronoid
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Van Cafe to merge with Rocky Mountain Westy! Reply with quote

Too far. I need a place close enough to Atherton to where I can drop off the Syncro and ride home. Being a former professional cyclist, Santa Cruz was a nice 2.5hr mountainous ride that I looked forward to.

Busdepot wrote:
I have a suggestion. Smile

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Van Cafe to merge with Rocky Mountain Westy! Reply with quote

In 19 years of Vanagon obsession, I've developed very positive relationships with VC, RMW, and Bus Depot (and Eurocampers and Van-Again and Bus Boys and GoWesty and others) and believe that the love of the vehicles and the culture is what keeps these vendors innovating, providing, and generally keeping us on the road.

Consolidation is a reality of business, regardless of what you're selling or providing. I've been through a few mergers and acquisitions and they can be painful or positive, depending on where you're standing. In the end, you hope that the benefits of the transaction are spread as evenly as possible among all parties involved.

I'm very happy for Peter that he gets to do some camping, and for our friends at RMW for having the cajones to assume responsibility for such a jewel of an organization as Van Cafe. I know they'll do it, and all of us, right.

(I'm also happy I have an VAN CAFE-SANTA CRUZ license plate surround. They're old school vintage now right?)

And, if I really need a part, I can drive 70 miles north and grab it!

I raise my glass to all involved. Here's to great days ahead.
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Syncronoid
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Van Cafe to merge with Rocky Mountain Westy! Reply with quote

I'm scared to go to Fred's. I've heard horror stories of heavy-handed mechanics and not so friendly service. I need a Syncro-specific shop. Waterboxer engines and suspension experience.

Jon_slider wrote:
Syncronoid wrote:
Totally Bummed considering VanCafe is my shop. Where to now?! Sad


if you mean a physical shop location near
there is still old Volks home in Santa Cruz

plus the new Outwesty Camper Vans in Santa Cruz

plus The Buslab in the Bay

plus German MotorWerks in PV...

or you can drive to thebusdepot in PA?

and lets not forget, really close to you, Freds Garage in Redwood City

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Van Cafe to merge with Rocky Mountain Westy! Reply with quote

shagginwagon83 wrote:
I wish the transition well! Van Cafe is my favorite parts vendor.

I hope they get a new website... Or atleast start hashing account password. FYI if you do a "forget password" on a website and they email you your password = bad news. So DON'T use your regular passwords on their site. If they were to get hacked the hacker would have your email and password.

I doubt this would happen but thought id let my fellow sambas know.


Thanks for the heads-up. I changed my password to something a bit more cryptic than Password#. Very Happy

As for the merger, I'm, looking forward to RMW growing. My experiences with them have been good.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Van Cafe to merge with Rocky Mountain Westy! Reply with quote

Syncronoid wrote:
I'm scared to go to Fred's. I've heard horror stories of heavy-handed mechanics and not so friendly service. I need a Syncro-specific shop. Waterboxer engines and suspension experience.

Jon_slider wrote:
Syncronoid wrote:
Totally Bummed considering VanCafe is my shop. Where to now?! Sad


if you mean a physical shop location near
there is still old Volks home in Santa Cruz

plus the new Outwesty Camper Vans in Santa Cruz

plus The Buslab in the Bay

plus German MotorWerks in PV...

or you can drive to thebusdepot in PA?

and lets not forget, really close to you, Freds Garage in Redwood City

No need to go back East.

Paul at Valley Wagenwerks in San Rafael or Stephan's Auto Haus in Sacramento.
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cmayna
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Van Cafe to merge with Rocky Mountain Westy! Reply with quote

Merge? Will there be a RMW in Santa Cruz? If not, sure sounds like a simple buy out to me. What a shame in deed. Just when I was thinking of ordering some heavy items just to have the excuse to go and pick them up in person to save freight costs, say hello and share some smoked Salmon. Oh well.......
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raoul mitgong
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Van Cafe to merge with Rocky Mountain Westy! Reply with quote

MayorMcCheese wrote:
Had some issues with VC in December. Wonder if its related.


Iíve spent a shitload at Van-Cafe over the last year on three vans. Wonder if itís related?
-d
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AZ Landshaper
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Van Cafe to merge with Rocky Mountain Westy! Reply with quote

Your everlasting summer, you can see it fading fast
So you grab a piece of something that you think is gonna last
Well, you wouldn't even know a diamond if you held it in your hand
The things you think are precious, I can't understand

Are you reelin' in the years? Stowin' away the time
Are you gatherin' up the tears? Have you had enough of mine?

Steely Dan - Reeling In The Years


This seems fitting.
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16CVs Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Van Cafe to merge with Rocky Mountain Westy! Reply with quote

Rumor has that Fred's is closing in the next month or so as well.

Sorry to see Peter go. As a Re seller of parts he had a great commitment to his customer base. What was even better was doing business with him as a buyer, I sold him numerous items over the years and some of it he still sells on his Website. Peter was always fair and to the point. Never asked for an exclusive and would not take your idea and run off with it.
I will miss getting parts the next day, and sometimes even the same day. I ran a balance with him and he would call me up and say if you don't buy something I am going to send you a check and then ask how much he owed me.
Having then close was nice as it was a reasonable drive if I really had to have something.
Kudo's to a guy who started somethiung from scratch and treated his customers fairly and is stepping out while he can still enjoy life. I hoped he'd go out and buy himself A new Bicycle, but I doubt it.
Peter and VC will be missed in the VW community.

Stacy
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Van Cafe to merge with Rocky Mountain Westy! Reply with quote

Well, congratulations to Peter for successfully building a business doing something he loves, with people who share his enthusiasm, and for selling it and making a lifestyle change while he can still share and enjoy it. Thirty years - that's a long string of victories. Well done!

In December of 2016, I made it a point while I had my family in California on vacation to stop by and meet Peter and the gang. Ironically, one of my objectives was to privately ask him if he was interested in selling VC at some point. Unfortunately, traffic screwed up my plan and we literally arrived 12 minutes before they closed on the very last business day of the year. So there was simply no time and I had to content myself with being their last retail customer of the year (still have the 4:59pm receipt). I never got around to calling Peter to have that conversation and am the poorer for it.

Over the decade of my Vanagon fascination, I've restored a Syncro, done a light chassis restoration, then an engine rebuild, then another engine rebuild and a complete restoration on my current 2WD Wolfsburg. Van Cafe has been there every step of the way with terrific advice and a shared enthusiasm that is itself a product offering that I love about them. Special shoutout to Chris, with whom I got to share things about my kids and he about his daughter. I always asked for him and sometimes felt bad when whomever answered the phone had to go get him from the bowels to take care of "that guy from Idaho" again. Awesome service, the very best bedside manner, and a lot of packages shipped fast and accurately.

Peter. I'm sure I was not the only person who got service from you like this but one story sticks out and has to be told. Last year I needed a camshaft for my engine and there are various angles available for the timing gear. I told him I'd buy the one below as well and we'd let the machinist decide. He sent another along without charge, rightly knowing he could trust I would send the one we chose not to use back to Santa Cruz.

I've also been to RMW twice - both times towing a Vanagon on a trailer. Bought some excellent parts there from Mike and tossed 'em on the trailer. I look forward to the combined operation, and I'm sure the VC model and customer base is in good hands. Bravo and best for 2018!!!
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Last edited by IdahoDoug on Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Rocky Mountain Westy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Van Cafe to merge with Rocky Mountain Westy! Reply with quote

Busdepot wrote:
It is not exactly a merger. Van-Cafe in Santa Cruz is closing, and RMW has purchased their assets (customer data, inventory, trade name, website, etc.). As a few have observed, the Bus/Vanagon parts business is entering a period of contraction. Another venerable Bus/Vanagon specialist, Bus Boys, also closed not too long ago. I know of at least two others that are hanging on by a thread, and one that's up for sale. Many of the old-timers in this business are nearing retirement age, and there aren't enough younger people interested in taking the reins.

I am sorry to see Van Cafe go. Peter is a good guy and was a real asset to the Vanagon community. His contribution will be missed. I wish him and his crew the best in their future endeavors.

As for the Bus Depot, we are the exception to the rule, as we're actually expanding. Just a few months ago we added more warehouse space, and we've been regularly buying inventory from other wholesalers and retailers t5hat closed or downsized. Thanks entirely to your support, of course!


Thanks for chiming in Ron. Your summary is not really accurate. It is actually more of a merger than anything. Rocky Mountain Westy and Van Cafe have found a mutally beneficial arrangment where Rocky Mountain Westy will continue business operations of Van Cafe under the same name and the same website with some of the same great staff. Therefore we are considering it a merger. It is going to be a good thing for the community. I realize there are mixed emotions. I realize that some are upset. I understand and appreciate this. Change is hard, trust us, we know. We are in the depths of it at this very moment. There will still be cookies, the CA folks that use to get their parts overnight will have to wait 2-3 days ( the reward for waiting is a 9% discount for no sales tax). We are not going to be perfect at every moment, especially right away with the transition. However, trust me when I tell you it is going to be ok. You are going to get the best service and the best parts from the two companies that have over 40 years of combined experience. In the long run, we will look back on this day and remember it as the day the community won and got stronger. Don't believe the naysayers, don't get stuck in the weeds. Get on the train and come along, it is going to be one heck of a ride. Thanks so much to the Samba community and of course Thank you Everett, Kam, and Dave.

Mike from RMW

And i guess Van Cafe too...
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Steve M.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Van Cafe to merge with Rocky Mountain Westy! Reply with quote

Well just posted my final order with them...sigh.


I hope the transition is easy on all the folks working there and brighter futures for each one of them.

Peter if you have any leftover Recaro seats you just can't fit into the moving truck I'll be glad to store them for you. I have a perfect place to keep them warm! Laughing
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Van Cafe to merge with Rocky Mountain Westy! Reply with quote

Mike posted while I was positing posting!

Van Cafe was as fine an organization as I know--RMW is and has always been another one I'd put in their league. I have watched RMW conceive of great projects, work faithfully and honestly with other minds and vendors, and bring simply WONDERFUL things to market, a great many of which I have bought and kept without a moment's regret.

They are not alone. I am awed by Go Westy's own innovations and the breadth of Bus Depot's inventory and pricing... and Airhead has been courting our market. Don't forget that Vanistan is going to be doing new things, too. CIP has a lot of good or adequate stuff at fair prices. We are blessed in our aftermarket.

I have known Mike LaBate and his brother and his business for at least a decade, now. Their company has repaired Winston's vital systems, so I quite literally HAVE trusted them with my life. I continue to trust all the people involved in this completely. I will not borrow trouble with worries, I will wish happiness and success on all involved and the other vendors, and as I always do, wish them and you all the...

Best!
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Van Cafe to merge with Rocky Mountain Westy! Reply with quote

Rocky Mountain Westy wrote:


However, trust me when I tell you it is going to be ok. You are going to get the best service and the best parts from the two companies that have over 40 years of combined experience. In the long run, we will look back on this day and remember it as the day the community won and got stronger. Don't believe the naysayers, don't get stuck in the weeds. Get on the train and come along, it is going to be one heck of a ride. Thanks so much to the Samba community and of course Thank you Everett, Kam, and Dave.

Mike from RMW



Hear! Hear!

This smells good. Iím hoping the retail business fuels more great innovation from RMWís product development gang and the virtuous cycle continues in Ft. Collins.

This could have gone a number of different ways that would have been worse.
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