In 1995, Steffen Root and David Clark were just two very young guys working in a small bike shop in the Kmart Plaza in Great Barrington, MA. A few years later, they trusted their instincts and bought the shop with the encouragement of the owner. They worked hard to develop their business working in such a cramped space. Eventually they developed a loyal following attracting a committed group of bike enthusiasts.
After a few years and with the help of an SBA 504 loan, they bought a centrally located site on busy Route 7 in Great Barrington, built a building, and in 2007 moved into what they thought at the time was a cavernous space. And which now is busting at the seams with bikes and customers. To help alleviate this, they added additional storage space by renting an adjacent garage, and then latter, renting 3,000 square feet of storage at an off-site barn.
Over the years, Steffen and David kept their eyes open to opportunities to expand their business and diversify their customer base.
On April 15, 2013, Berkshire Bike and Board expanded to a second location. The Pittsfield store has provided them a more consistent cash flow and enabled them to add to their popular bike ride offerings. In Pittsfield they now offer a Monday Mountain Bike Ride and on Wednesday a general Road Ride. Both are offered to the public regardless of skill or experience. The second store has proven to be a welcomed addition, providing a different business cycle to their Great Barrington store.
In addition to their commitment to the community by sponsoring and leading community bike rides, Berkshire Bike and Board provides free, bike safety checks in coordination with local police departments, sponsor snow shoeing events with Berkshire Community College and with the Community Land Trust, and offer their customers lifetime free bike tune ups with all bike purchases.
Having started their business with employing just the two of them, they have grown the business to having 14 employees today. Committed to sharing the joys of green, pedal power their product lines include bikes for tots, high end cycles over $10,000 and electric assisted bikes.
Overall, business has been good and they are now contemplating their next move which might include acquiring a third store.