[TheThinkTank] Example of Nonprofit + Commercial Shop Synergy?

Kevin Dwyer kevidwyer at gmail.com
Wed Nov 27 22:55:28 PST 2019


In SLC many of the shops donate used or warranty parts to the Bicycle Collective.  Some shops even keep a box just for that purpose. The key to maintaining the relationship seems to be introductions and being responsive to the shop’s needs. Lots of mechanics have gotten their start at BC, later moving to commercial shops. Letting the shops know about training programs (Park Tool School, etc.) and the ability to assist customers that they can’t fosters trust and appreciation.

Kevin Dwyer

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> On Nov 28, 2019, at 3:58 AM, Ainsley Naylor <needleandthread at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> 
> 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 either.
> 
> 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
>> 596 Acres
>> Bindlestiff Family Cirkus
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