By Tristan Hiegler
Earl’s Bike Shop
Owner: Craig Earl
Square Feet: 500
Start Date: May 1
Address: 2827 Meridian Street, Bellingham
Phone: (360) 746-2401
Craig Earl opened his new bike shop at the beginning of May with a couple services that bikers will not find elsewhere in Bellingham. He sells consigned bikes and offers a used-parts system that will help cut down on the cost of repairs.
Earl said he found the shop’s location in the Fountain District about a year ago.
“I was riding my bike around here and I noticed there were a lot of ‘For Lease’ signs. That was right at the time when it seemed like we were at the full recession and commercial real estate seemed to be cheap,” he said.
He said he worked with an agent to find a suitable space for a community bike shop until they found the current location.
“I wanted to be in this area because there’s a lot of commuters, a lot of people riding around on their bikes,” Earl said.
Earl said he has worked at several different bike shops over the course of his career, including locations on the East Coast and California. Before starting Earl’s Bike Shop, he ran Whatever It Takes Bike Repair out of his basement, which was a home bike repair and delivery business.
He said the startup costs of his brick-and-mortar shop were low because he already had many of the tools and parts he needed from his home business.
Earl said he provides a full-service repair shop, but one of the main things that sets Earl’s Bike Shop apart is that he accepts consigned bikes, which he fixes up to be sold.
“No one was doing the consignment bike thing,” he said. “I thought it helped fill a niche for those people that want to get a bike that’s a decent bike but they really can’t afford a brand new one. And buying one off Craigslist — for some people it’s kind of a little sketchy.”
He said his shop offers a safer environment for customers looking to save on a used bike because all his bikes come with a service policy and have been checked over by a certified mechanic.
Additional services include a parts workbench, where he sells used and barely used parts. He hopes to offer a customer rewards program in the future where repeat customers and their families pay the same labor rates as the year they first started doing business with Earl’s Bike Shop.