I guess it must have been about 18 months ago when Jez called and suggested we met for coffee as he wanted to have a chat about something – always worrying when someone says that.
Once we’d got past the small talk and the general catching up Jez casually dropped into the conversation the concept of opening Bay Cycles in Torquay. Having known Jez for more years than I care to remember I was more more than confident in his abilities as an extremely competent Sales Advisor and Mechanic. Moreover, I guess you could say that it had always been his dream to run his own shop.
Being a keen cyclist myself, like many others I would imagine, the thought of running a bike shop would be amazing. However, with the responsibilities of a mortgage and other commitments making such a move was not an option. However, Jez had a solution and I was offered the chance of investing in Bay Cycles – happy days. A quick discussion with the ‘powers that be’ and a perusal of a very well put together Business Plan (well done Lisa) convinced me that this was a worthwhile investment.
Now when they said investment they didn't just mean financial. Before I knew it I was in Torquay helping out with the shopfit and experiencing Lisa’s attention to detail first hand. With a lazer level to make sure we were getting everything straight, under Lisa's watchful eye Jez and I had the first slat board up on the wall and the shopfit was underway (it’s the one behind the counter for those of you wondering which one it was!).
Since the opening I have managed a few visits to the seaside and even managed the shop for a few days in August whilst Jez & Lisa headed off for a well-earned rest at a friends wedding. One of best visits though included joining the Saturday morning shop ride. (if you haven’t been on one of these yet – they’re great fun with good banter and refreshments at the end).
A year on since opening it's hard to believe Bay Cycles has gained such a great following in the Torbay area. I know having spoke to Jez & Lisa that they have been bowled over with the support from local cyclists and, whilst it's been a year of lots of hard work I know they've loved every minute.
So what does the next 12 months have in store for Bay Cycles – Well...whilst I'd be lying if I said I didn't know I’m afraid I can’t tell you. Well, not just yet anyway! All I can say is the next 12 months are exciting times for Bay Cycles – and I for one will be keeping an eye on their website and facebook page for updates.