The Caffeinated Cyclist peddles down the road to a larger location
For nearly five years, Steve Blackman ran the Caffeinated Cyclist shop in a small storefront on Broadway in Pitman.
After six weeks of gutting, painting and moving, the hometown bike shop has a new home — one that is almost three times as big as the original location.
“We can display so much more inventory here,” Blackman said, of the new shop at 101 West Jersey Ave. “And we have a big, five-bay service area.”
And that service area is in open view of the customers, and bordered on one side with a bar and bar stools which will eventually be the place to experience the “caffeinated” part of the shop.
“We still haven’t moved the coffee machines over, but we’re hoping to have a full espresso bar eventually,” he said.
In a time when expanding small, family-owned businesses is difficult, Blackman said he believes his modest beginnings made this possible.
“I was lucky to start there,” he said of the original location on Broadway. “The rent was affordable and I didn’t have to go into debt to start the business.”
When he first opened Caffeinated Cyclist in November 2009, he planned for it to be a small bicycle service business.
“But almost immediately, we started selling bikes and we started to grow,” Blackman said.
At the original location, there were two small service stations and room to display only about 30 percent of his bicycle inventory.
“Now we have this big service area where we can turn bikes without having to do the limbo around each other,” he laughed.
Full-time employees Matt Kupsky and Jeff Gonzales have been with Blackman through the move and, he said, made it all possible.
“They kept the shop going while I was dealing with all the paperwork for the move,” he said.
The Caffeinated Cyclist sells bikes, bike equipment, clothing and glasses, and is a full-service repair shop.
Blackman said he has been interested in bicycles since he was just a toddler.
“I’ve been riding since I was a little kid,” he said. “Since I was 3 and my dad was trying to teach my (older) sister how to ride and I got impatient.”
Not long after he climbed onto a two-wheeler, he started working on them.
“I started tinkering with them almost immediately,” Blackman said. “Mostly taking them apart.”
The Caffeinated Cyclist hosts the Bob Riccio Memorial Tour de Pitman each June and is hosting the Caffeinated Cross cycle race on Oct. 4 at the Gloucester County 4H Fairgrounds.
For more information about registering for these and other events, visit www.tccyclist.com or call 856-256-1414.
Kelly Roncace may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @kellylin89. Find the South Jersey Times on Facebook.