We have the pleasure of working with some of the best independent bike shops out there, it’s a real highlight of what we do, and behind all these shops are some pretty incredible people. Working hard to open up everyday, repair your bikes, get you your fix of coffee, organise sweet events and generally bring rad bikes to the people!
So this year we want to start showing some love to all the amazing Brother stockists and highlight them in a series of journal pieces.
To kick it off we paid a visit to Dan and Jenny of Velo Domestique – Bournemouth’s first cycle cafe – repairing bikes, serving locally roasted coffee and fresh delicious food to keep you rolling. They opened a couple years back and have quickly built up a great community of riders on the south coast. Here are their thoughts on cycle cafe success:
“Having a support network of people, cyclists or not, businesses and groups who share a similar ethos is a massive part of building a cycle cafe. Working closely with like minded businesses like Brother Cycles has been a pleasure, we have been developing that relationship over the past few years with events like Brother in the Wild, it also helps that Will and James are really nice guys! We own (multiple) Brother bikes and consequently feel connected to a wider family of Brother cyclists, we want them to feel at home in our cycle cafe.”
“It is our family, friends and customers that give us the love for what we do. Our passion comes from helping people enjoy the things that we ourselves do. Those who have taken up or got back into cycling since walking through our doors inspire us the most. To us, being a hub for anyone who needs us to help keep them rolling is hugely important and we hope to be able to continue doing so for many years to come.”
“In this densely populated industry it is important to carve out what makes you special. Doing the things you care about as best you can and making sure your team reflect that in everything they do is a surefire way to stand out. Working with other companies with well defined objectives is important; for example our coffee roasters are local, they source their coffee ethically, quality is their biggest priority and they deliver everything on an Omnium Cargo bike (which we built them). Combining this with a team that effortlessly conveys your message, building from each other’s experiences and constantly learning to evolve together is important, something we are very fortunate to have.”
“Pioneering new discoveries big or small, taking on the adventures and pushing your own limits not only helps you stand out but also gives you personal exploration. This year we are aiming to venture further into the world of Bikepacking, building on our knowledge gained from seasoned cycle tourists who regularly frequent Velo Domestique. We are working with the Wessex CTC to help try and bring their massively popular Audax the Gridiron 100 to new riders. 2018 will see us organise and marshal the second ever Bike to Bestival event which last year raised over £12,000 for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.”
“The final and most important ingredient is fun. If you enjoy the simple pleasures in life like good coffee, well maintained bikes and shared adventures with friends then the graft required to create a cycle cafe will certainly pay off. This time two years ago we were mixing concrete by hand, working through the night to a tight deadline and hoping that we could convince Bournemouth residents that a bike shop and cafe could logically work together under one roof, now we repair bikes and serve our delicious coffee to customers we love on that very same concrete every morning.”