Bikes and Coffee has been a business four years in the making. In 2014, I was working as a mechanic/manager at Sweet Bikes, a shop in the suburbs. Great family run shop. There, I fell back into what I enjoy most: riding, building and repairing bikes. I was kicking around the idea of opening a shop since I was a kid, but didn't really have any idea where to get started. Without a clue as to what I was doing or where I was going to do it, I began the journey of opening a bicycle cafe.
At that time, Detroit was struggling; people had been leaving the city for years. A city of over 2.2 million people during its peak was down to less than 800,000. With that mass exodus and a bankruptcy, the city had hit rock bottom and began rebuilding. But growing up in the suburbs, I always had a soft spot for Detroit. I’d visit the city a lot when I was younger, taking pictures, skateboarding and biking. So when I decided to open a bicycle cafe, I decided there was no better place to do it than here.
2014 flew by. I fell in love, committed to this idea, grounded myself in the city and started to pursue the dream. After working my last summer at Sweet Bikes, I decided to get back into carpentry and figure out a way to stay flexible while I worked on opening the shop. That winter was cold. There was no heat in my VW and I didn’t have the cash to fix it. Driving 30 miles to work, freezing my ass off and not feeling closer to my dream, I was questioning every decision to pursue this shop.
The cold finally passed, and in spring of 2015 I got a job with a design build firm in the city. Some daylight. My commute went from 30 miles to about three. I was in Detroit and that much closer to opening Bikes & Coffee.