[TheThinkTank] Example of Nonprofit + Commercial Shop Synergy?

Ainsley Naylor needleandthread at gmail.com
Wed Nov 27 19:57:52 PST 2019

Bike Pirates in Toronto has had a few really good relationships with local
bike shops.

When we started out it was back in the pre-historic times when LBSs
considered community bike projects to be a THREAT and an OFFENCE to the
culture of bike repair.
We were a bunch of dirty anarchists, but one local shop owner supported us
(in part, I think, because he was involved in the community bike share
program and local bike advocacy organization). In fact he hired ME (even
though I knew practically nothing) along with several other Bike Pirates
over the past 12 years. Many of us got our first real experiences fixing
bikes at that shop and went on to work as mechanics for many years, while
continuing to volunteer at Pirates or other projects :)
That shop actually just closed after 18 years in business and I will always
feel indebted to the way in which us local bike punks were fostered through
employment there.

We have have other copacetic relationships with shops on the "same block"
where they send folks to us who they can't help, and we do the same. It's
actually great to have a LBS nearby for complex issues and parts that you
can't keep in stock (must of us are pretty limited in what NEW parts we are
able to source or keep on hand). At our old space there were 2 nearby shops
things were fine with, and at our current location there was a small shop
down the block who we were friendly with as well. He however closed last
year, and a different shop opened up two doors down from us who we don't
have great relations with. The owner is friendly and actually used to use
our space regularly, but his staff have been rude and condescending both *about
our organization* and to our patrons when they have gone in for parts or
repairs. They generally don't have a great reputation in the neighbourhood

It feels really crappy to have a shop nearby and not be able to recommend
them to participants, and also to know that they don't have the parts that
people need :(
But generally we have had things work out well, and because we have proven
ourselves over the years most shops at the very least contact us for
donations and appreciate the work that we do!

Ainsley (Toronto)

On Wed, Nov 27, 2019 at 2:37 PM Josh Bisker <jbisker at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hey who's got a great example or model of a nonprofit shop and a
> for-profit shop getting along well and it all working to everyone's
> benefit? Not a two-in-one model, but a symbiotic relationship between two
> shops, like maybe on the same block or something. Plz?
> Josh Bisker
> 914-500-9890
> New York Mechanical Gardens Bike Co-op <http://bikecoop.nyc/>
> 596 Acres <http://596acres.org/>
> Bindlestiff Family Cirkus <http://bindlestiff.org/>
> ____________________________________
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