Print
Retail

Tides Changing For Locally Based Spearfishing Distributor

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Jun 8, 2017
Maverick America has a opened a new facility on Greenfield Street and is working on new line of North Carolina-manufactured spear guns. (Photo courtesy of Maverick America)
Maverick America, a Wilmington-based national distribution company for spearfishing, has opened a second location near downtown Wilmington, to begin production of an all-North Carolina manufactured spear gun.
 
The company has expanded from its small location in the Dry Corp building off Military Cutoff Road to its  newly renovated 7,500-square-foot building at 1316 S. Fifth St., said Mark Laboccetta, founding partner of Maverick America.
 
Maverick America was founded in 2015 by Laboccetta and California partner Petros Yiannikouros. In the first year, it had more than $1 million in revenue, Laboccetta said. The company sells nine different brands focused on the spearfishing market, from apparel to parts.

Tides are now changing for the company, as it extends the business into manufacturing its own product lines.
 
“We have a 100-page catalog of all the finest brands … Most of our products are geared toward the free dive and spearfishing enthusiast,” Laboccetta said. “The vision here is to be the largest distribution company for spearfishing in the country."
 
Laboccetta found his love for spearfishing early in life, and has set 11 world records in the sport. His passion has translated into his 26 years of experience in the industry.
 
Laboccetta was in the spear gun manufacturing industry for more than a decade, before his family’s business Technosport was bought out by a public corporation in 2013. After that, he and his wife, Lydia, who also holds a world record in the sport, decided to “start from scratch” in Wilmington.

Maverick America still has its retail outlet off Military Cutoff Road. But with the extreme sport of spearfishing growing in popularity, Mark Laboccetta said they soon realized one building was not going to afford the company room for expansion.

The second location allows the company to grow, while also being a part of the effort to revitalize the Greenfield Lake area, Mark Laboccetta said.
 
“The city has plans for revitalizing this area," he said. "I feel like we are right in the center of that."
 
The company's new space includes a showroom and distribution room. Currently, Mark Laboccetta is also working on installing a CNC shop in the back of the building to manufacture the company's new top-of-line spear gun.

The new spear guns (left) are designed in Hawaii by spear gun designer Darrian Yokooji, and manufactured and assembled in Wilmington. The guns range from $900 to $1,100 each.
 
Once the new facility is up and running, the custom spear guns will take about three months to produce. The first “full line” of spear guns has already pre-sold, Mark Laboccetta said.

He said that Maverick America's spear gun manufacturing facility is just the first phase of the company's expansion. Next, the company seeks to further its brand in the wetsuit market.

“The direction that we are taking with the spear guns is the same that we are taking with other products made over seas,” Mark Laboccetta said. “Specifically, when you think about neoprene … most of that always comes from overseas. But our phase two of the expansion in North Carolina-made production, is to make wetsuits here.”

Mark Laboccetta aims to start wetsuit production in the next six months, but the 1,000 square feet of space left inside his current building may not have enough room for additional equipment. He's looking into nearby buildings.

“Spearfishing is growing, and I know this business. So I’m taking the opportunity to make this stuff in the U.S. again," Mark Laboccetta said.

The company currently has six employees, and expects to hire two more by July.
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Burrus rob headshot 300x300

PMBA Team Wins Value Added Award for Wattles

Robert Burrus - Cameron School of Business - University of North Carolina Wilmington
Martyheadshot

Go Green With Your IT

Marty Cayton - TeamLogic IT of Wilmington & Fayetteville
Jim ellis headshot 10311631058

Even Good Logos “Go Bad”

Jim Ellis - Signal

Trending News

United Airlines To Offer Two New Non-stop Routes To DC, Chicago

Christina Haley O'Neal - Nov 20, 2017

Virginia-based Insurance Broker Acquires Wilmington Firm

Christina Haley O'Neal - Nov 20, 2017

New Owner Picks Up 3 Wilmington Taxi Companies

Cece Nunn - Nov 21, 2017

ILM Hires Planning And Development Director To Aid Future Growth

Staff Reports - Nov 21, 2017

Industrial Supply Co. Growing, To Open N. College Road Storefront

Cece Nunn - Nov 20, 2017

In The Current Issue

Anniversaries: Making Of A Milestone

As Wilmington marks its 278th year of formal incorporation, many local businesses and organization also marked anniversary milestones this y...


In Castle Hayne, A Better Business Crop

North Carolina farmers are getting the latest in tricks of the trade and technological advances through research being conducted at horticul...


Downtown Growing Into 24-Hour Hub

Downtown Wilmington’s central business district has outpaced both the city and county in tax base growth, officials say. And new mixed-use p...

Book On Business

The 2017 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2017 Health Care Heroes
Major Developments
WilmingtonBiz Expo - Key Note Lunch with Keynote Lunch with Chip Mahan - 2016