Years ago, as a young man living in South Jersey, Bob Danzeisen had to drive to Philadelphia every time he needed his tennis racket restrung or wanted to rent a pair of skis. That inconvenience sparked his idea to open a sporting goods store in Cherry Hill. Danzeisen & Quigley, as it came to be known, quickly grew into a thriving and popular business.
On Thursday, after 57 years in business, Danzeisen and his two partners announced they are closing the South Jersey shop on Route 70 that offered performance bicycles, high-end skis and gear, and an array of other recreational goods.
The partners decided it was time to retire.
“It’s been a good fairy tale,” said longtime partner Joe Vitale, who got his start with Danzeisen cutting grass when he was 13 and later went to work at the ski shop. He eventually decided to pursue a business degree, and Danzeisen promised to pay his tuition if he kept his grades up. Vitale did that, graduated, and eventually became a partner in the store.
The other partner, Bill Quigley, also started out by working in the store. He saw that business was brisk and suggested opening another shop. He offered to manage a new store in Cinnaminson if he could have part ownership, and Danzeisen & Quigley was born.
Over the years, the business had stores in four locations before merging back into one in Cherry Hill.
Danzeisen is turning 86 this year. Quigley, 67, has been away from the business for several years because of health problems. Vitale, 65, said he’s not the cold weather guy he used to be. He wants to head south for a warmer climate. , But looking back on the years, he said, “It’s been fun.”
The business started as a ski and cycling shop. The partners later added tennis equipment, swimming gear, snowboards, and sleds to the inventory.
“I was lucky,” Danzeisen said. And not just because business boomed. He met his future wife, Margaret, in the store. She was an avid skier who challenged him on the slopes — and captured his heart.
Decades later, Margaret Danzeisen was at his side at the store on Thursday as news was slowly getting around that the place was closing. They plan to retire at the end of this ski season, give or take a few months.
As the couple recalled their early years in the business, they were interrupted by a steady flow of customers. Many said they were sorry to learn that the store would soon close.