Belfast businessman takes 'megabyte' out of competitionPrepares to launch second store next month
Belfast — Aaron Sarnacki, owner of Archangel Computers, began venturing into the computer repair business as a teenager in high school. His business has grown since those early days, and has recently relocated to Main Street in Belfast.
Sarnacki said that he started learning about their inner workings years before opening Archangel.
“I started going out on calls before I even had my license, so I would have to get a ride from my brother,” Sarnacki said. “I got more customers and it was a great source of side income while I was going to college.”
After college, Sarnacki continued repairing computers and providing other tech-related support, but realized his business would benefit greatly from having an actual storefront location. He opened his first store on Church Street in Belfast before moving to his new location at 103 Main Street.
“I had this great opportunity to move here [Main Street] and I took it. It took us about two and one half months to renovate the space but it’s a great location,” Sarnacki said.
The look and feel of the store is a point of personal pride for Sarnacki who said he wanted to avoid the sometimes cold and unwelcoming atmosphere of other computer repair stores.
“When you walk in here it feels very warm and welcoming. It’s very new and modern,” he said.
The store has a simple layout with PC products prominently displayed on a shelf on one side of the room and Apple products displayed on the opposite side. Selling both PC and Apple products, and possessing the skill set to repair both, is an uncommon practice in many computer repair businesses.
In addition to his Belfast location, Sarnacki is also working on the final touches at his Camden store, which is located at the corner of Washington and Elm Street, for its grand opening sometime in the next month.
“Apple products are very complicated to work on and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could end up buying somebody a brand new lap top,” Sarnacki said. “That’s why a lot of businesses don’t service Apple products.”
Repairing and selling computers keeps Sarnacki and his small support staff busy, but that isn’t the only component of his business.
“We also manage large and small scale networks for businesses. I remember one time we transferred medical records from one system to another and that was a pretty complex process because the patient records are confidential,” Sarnacki said.
However, it’s those types of challenges that keep Sarnacki on his toes as he readily admits one of the most challenging aspects of the business is staying on top of the ever-changing technology world. Computer repair and general trouble shooting may make up the bulk of his business, but Sarnacki said he and his staff also repair any device such as, smart phones, tablets or iPods.
“We also do web hosting and web design as well as providing wireless internet,” he said. “I remember we had one instance where somebody had a fence charger that needed a piece soldered onto it and we did it.”
That versatility is what Sarnacki said has contributed to the success of his business. Even though the majority of his customer base is local, he said he has a few customers he provides remote support to while they are in Florida.
“We try to make everybody happy — probably to a fault — but we’re here to help and not just sell things,” he said.
Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached at 338-3333 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.