Verechi is a well known name in Chiriqui, a province of Panama located in the western region of the republic, known for its pristine beaches and for having the only volcano in the country: the Baru Volcano.
In this beautiful province, which is known for being a cattle ranching area, a base for many industries, and with several important urbanizations, is located the Verechi spare parts store, which started operations in 1985 and has been serving local industries for more than 3 decades.
The business started with Yorvenys’ father-in-law, Don Fabio, who was in charge of cleaning and maintaining the stadium of a local soccer league. A bad day for soccer, but good for his family’s future, the lawn mower got stuck. When looking for repair shops, Don Fabio realized that there were no specialized stores to service these machines. Thus arose his interest in mechanics, and what would be a long road of entrepreneurship for Verechi’s founder.
That store that began as a mechanic’s shop, now in 2023, has several employees, two stores and a woman at the helm: Yorvenys Sánchez, who has kept the family legacy high.
Over the course of these 38 years, Verechi has grown from a one-man repair shop that catered to local gardeners requesting small equipment repairs, to a distributor of international brands such as Craftop, which design and manufacture tools for the agricultural industry and supply large supply chains in the region.
First under the leadership of Don Fabio, then his son, and finally Yorvenys, Verechi now offers agricultural and gardening tools, but, above all, repair, maintenance, accessory sales and after-sales service for Craftop and other brands of equipment for the Chiriqui and Colon regions.
“Today we serve an average of 500 to 600 customers, with 100 regular customers who have had their machines for years and always come back for their spare parts because of the excellent service we provide and the guarantee of always having spare parts for their equipment,” said Yorvenys Sanchez, general manager of the store, in an interview.
Among their customer portfolio, they serve domestic customers, with tools for home use, independent professionals who use their equipment as a daily work tool (gardeners, architects, landscape designers), and other workshops, who are the ones that renew and need the largest amount of equipment for agriculture and livestock. They also serve municipal urbanization services, which are always looking for the lowest maintenance but highest value tools to maximize public resources.
Verechi is undoubtedly a success story of a business that found a market opportunity and took advantage of it with international business partners that at the time, when the store started up, were also entering the local market.
“Craftop is a high quality piece of equipment that customers prefer because they know its value gives them assurance. The last thing the market needs is disposable equipment. Our success has been thanks to Craftop,” says Yorvenys, an expert in machines, motors, warranties and parts. Thanks to this alliance, which they publicized at events such as rodeos, and with large amounts of advertising, the business was able to grow and offer their customers much more than just repairs.
Recently, Yorvenys had to take the helm of the company due to her husband’s health situation, and although she has been involved in the business for a long time, today with her new role she has learned much more. He is passionate about talking about machines, and has the depth of knowledge of any technician.
“People recognized me as the girl who sold spare parts. They knew that I knew about the business and the machines, and now as the manager, I like to continue talking to the customers and make sure they are satisfied with our services. The relationship with the customer is something that fulfills me,” she acknowledges with a smile.
In a market like Latin America, Yorvenys acknowledges that there are many challenges for a store like Verechi, but thanks to their partnership with Craftop they have been able to overcome many obstacles. As its distributors in the region of Chiriqui and Colon, it has the support of the after-sales service that ensures the stability of the business.
The manager now has many plans for the future. It would like to have more stores nationwide, and to continue investing in marketing and training, especially considering that there are sustainability issues, such as climate change, that could threaten the local industry.
Even in the pandemic, what helped this small business stay on its feet was its loyal customer base and personalized attention. Yorvanys is proud of herself, but also of her team and what they can achieve in the future. Opposite Verechi, this “girl who sold spare parts” today plans to grow her store further and become a much more important distributor for the international brand that helped the family grow, Craftop.