Bryan Sart’s plan for the future came into focus during a summer night on his back deck. It was 2010 and he was hanging out with his best friend Mike Hutchins, reminiscing about their time working together at Empire Vision in the 1990s. “We were both frustrated with the lack of common sense in the companies we were working for at the time. At some point we said, ‘We know we can do it better. Why don’t we?’” After trying out a handful of different names for their company, Mike suggested using Bryan’s middle name, Xavier. At that moment Xavier Optical was born.
Sart and Hutchins are lifelong friends. Both graduated from West Genesee High School together in 1987. Two years later Sart graduated from OCC. He started as an Accounting major but his adviser suggested he switch to Business Administration. “It was great advice. Ultimately it provided the foundation for where I am today.”
Sart started his optical career at Empire Vision and Hutchins joined the company a short time later. Eventually their career paths separated but they remained close. By the time Xavier Optical was created Sart had mastered all of the paper work and administrative duties that go along with running a business, and Hutchins had his opticians license. “We both had experiences which complemented each other,” said Sart.
Xavier Optical opened for business in 2011. It’s located in the CEO Building at 4914 West Genesee Street in Camillus. It’s a homegrown business which Sart says values its patients. “At chains you are a customer and part of their commission. We will never have commission. We do not have stores, we have offices. We reserve our time for you. People are our primary focus. We give a level of service the chains cannot.”
Twenty-five years after earning his degree Sart believes a lesson learned at OCC is and always will be timeless. “If you have a passion and can follow through on it, you can be a success.”