After 42 years, Springfield dive shop owners are selling business

After 42 years, Springfield dive shop owners are selling business

Rick and Kim Sass pose with their dog, Louie, outside Sub Aquatic Sports and Service in Springfield on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 in Springfield, Michigan.  The couple owned the business for 42 years before selling to Nebraska-based Diventures in January and now serve as an advisor to the company.

SPRINGFIELD — Rick and Kim Sass regularly travel to exotic locations around the world where they swim with sharks, stingrays and other aquatic wildlife.

But the married couple has always been anchored in the Battle Creek area.

In fact, a literal anchor stands in front of their diving business, Sub Aquatic Sports and Service, at 347 N. Helmer Road, where customers are greeted by their 1-year-old poodle mix.

After 42 years running the retailer, which specializes in dive equipment, instruction and travel, the Sasses stepped down from day-to-day operations earlier this year to serve as a consultant to the dive shop’s new owner, Diventures Inc.

In this 2012 photo, Kim Sass of Battle Creek explores a reef in the Galapagos Islands.

Around 2018, Kim and I started quietly saying to each other, “Let’s say 40 and we’re done,” Rick said. “Forty years of running a business is good. Then came March 2020 and everyone knows the story there… As luck would have it, one of our sales reps mentioned our name to Dean Hollis, who buys a bunch of dive shops that are well run around the country.”

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