Couple starts community bike, skate shop
Growing up in Bessemer, Mich., with a couple hundred inches of snow every year, Scot Williams said as a kid you could either flip burgers or work in a ski and bike shop. As a kid, he opted for the latter. As an adult, he still does.
“I love the lifestyle. I love bikes,” Williams said at his new shop, Oregon Bike and Skate, 119 S. Main St., last week.
Williams and his wife, Jen, opened their downtown business last month, hoping to provide what Scot Williams described as the “community-driven bike shop you think about as a kid” as well as a place where people can take their skates to be sharpened in town. Oregon Bike and Skate is a full-service shop that also offers clothing, accessories and parts. It also sells bikes.
For Scot Williams, it’s a continuation of a passion that developed in his youth and traveled with him across state lines, from Michigan to Oregon to Wisconsin. Jen Williams said her husband has been in the industry since 1986 and managed stores in Michigan and Madison before deciding to start his own.
“He’s always wanted his own store,” she said.
The Town of Oregon couple has two children in the Oregon School District. Both children play hockey. The Williams said they thought the community was ready for a shop like Bike and Skate, a place where Jen Williams said you can take your kids.
So when the Williams decided to start their own shop, they knew they wanted to be downtown. Jen Williams said they wanted to help make the village’s downtown a “place to go to rather than drive through.”
“It’s awesome,” Scot Williams said of the location they selected. “The big windows. The downtown area. The tin ceiling…This downtown is awesome.”
Since they opened their storefront last month, the Williamses have slowly being growing their business and their inventory of bikes. The shop has both a website and a Facebook page.
They plan to host a bike maintenance class March 27. They hope other classes follow. They also plan to organize rides and help with events like the bike rodeo in the spring.
And the new shop is not their first rodeo, so to speak, when it comes to owning a small business. Jen Williams has operated Saddle Up Horse Training, which offers lessons for riding and also trains horses, for several years now. When they talk about the shop, they talk about the importance of customer service and care for the people they work with.
“We’re not here to get rich. We’re here to help people,” Jen Williams said.