On the surface it may seem obvious what drives the owners of Peloton Bicycle Shop and Café — the small space near Seattle University combines a full service bicycle repair shop with coffee, beer, and breakfast/brunch/lunch. Without a doubt, they have a passion for bikes, good food and brews but that’s not the whole story.
Owners Dustin Riggs, Mckenzie Hart and Paul Danos first met as riders and enthusiasts in Seattle’s bike community. In 2010, Mckenzie and Dustin were visiting London when they stumbled across a shop with a cool concept—you could hang out and drink beer or coffee while waiting for your bike to be worked on. Inspired, they returned to Seattle with the motivation to start their own place. But it wasn’t out of the blue; Mckenzie had attended culinary school and made a name for herself in the Seattle restaurant scene and Dustin and Paul were skilled bicycle mechanics and competitive bike polo athletes. Combining their passions was a natural fit for a business and Seattle’s active cycling and café culture meant demand was high.
Though they had the skills to deliver services, what they lacked was start-up capital. A loan from Business Impact NW meant they could get up and running and put their idea to the test. It paid off! Word of mouth and self-promotion online started attracting customers, then came critical acclaim for Mckenzie’s cooking from the local media. Dustin says “good food at a decent price” was the obvious attraction but the added benefit is the relaxed, casual atmosphere. “Everybody can come in and feel comfortable” he says, and adds that approachability is key to their success. All three owners work on site, helping out where they can and building relationships. In return, their customers help out and give back in their own ways, strengthening and serving the community.
Some of those relationships have had a direct impact on the business model. Peloton sources ingredients for their meals from local farms, serves coffee made from locally roasted beans and beer brewed in Washington and they are starting to collaborate with others in the bike industry. They thrive as owner-operators, staying busy or as Dustin puts it “I get to do everything that we do here” but they are ready to grow. A bigger location, longer hours and an expanded menu are immediate goals, which will give them the ability to serve more folks. Their success thus far has been a great proof of concept with plenty of opportunities for continued growth. For Dustin, Mckenzie and Paul doing what you love has turned out to be a winning combination. Visit them Wednesday – Sunday at 1220 E Jefferson St and online via Facebook and Instagram. As it says on their website, “Peloton provides delicious healthy food, professional bicycle service, and a variety of beverages for any time of the day. We’d love to share our passions with you.”
About the author
Megan is Business Impact NW's Development Coordinator and a candidate for Seattle University's Arts Leadership MFA program. She holds a BA in English with an emphasis in creative writing from the University of Montana and is passionate about storytelling of all forms, nature and developing community by elevating our unique stories. Megan grew up on her family's farm and ranch in Montana and is especially inspired to empower small business owners from underserved rural and urban communities.