As most of you probably know, we're a relatively new bike shop, so it seems only right that we use this first blog post to introduce ourselves and give a quick insight as to how The Marlborough Bike Company came to be.
John & Laura are the faces behind The Marlborough Bike Company. John is probably the one you'd recognise the most, as the shop is his baby. Laura can normally be found running around after the family's other two babies (Oscar & Tilly), or working for a telecommunications company.
John has been working in the cycle industry for over 15 years. Starting as a Saturday boy all those years ago, a hobby quickly turned into a passion. Working in various roles in retail, as well as mountain biking in his spare time, I think cycling could now be classed as a lifestyle.
After managing a local bike shop for a number of years, the next logical step for John was to go it alone. A couple of months of loitering on estate agent's websites led to us seeing the Kingsbury Street property advertised. First impressions were that it could be a great bike shop.
With the lease being drawn up, next on the list was to come up with a name. We wanted something that made it clear what we are about; an independent, local bike shop, integrated in to the local community, catering for all cycling needs. The Marlborough Bike Company.
Why Marlborough? We moved to West Berkshire in 2010 and have always loved visiting Marlborough. We like the way the town operates. It has that feeling of community that so many other towns have lost over the years. It's no coincidence that Marlborough still supports so many independent businesses, whilst others are closing their doors. A bike shop seemed to be missing from the town, and we were confident that the market was there to support one.
We received the keys at the beginning of January, and a few weeks of painting, shop fitting, merchandising and bike building ensued, but soon a bike shop emerged out of all the dust and boxes. We opened the doors for the first time at 09:00 on Saturday 10 February. We used the first few weeks to settle in to the community, learn some more about what our customers wanted and make sure that all was working as expected.
Our official opening was marked with a launch party in the middle of March. Goody bags, group rides, freebies and of course, plenty of cake was the order of the day. Despite the snow coming down we were overwhelmed by the amount of people that came and supported us.
The opening of the Marlborough Bike Company marks a new stage in our lives, both professionally and as a family. It's so much more than just a bike shop. It's a long term venture. It's our way of supporting our family. It's something for our kids to inherit. We want it to become the hub of Marlborough's cycling community.
We'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us so far. To our friends and family for all of their help in getting the bike shop up and running in the first place. And to our customers, who have already made us feel a part of this great community. We love that people come in to the shop just to see how it's going, and to say hello. (As you can probably tell by the length of this blog, we love to chat!). Please continue to help spread the word, mention us to your friends, family and colleagues. We look forward to welcoming you in to the shop soon.