Member stories / Small Business / Lake Trust News

The Ride to Creating A Well-Loved Business At Hometown Bicycles

Words by Abbie Dyer on Jun 30, 2019 9:51:36 PM

In an old roller rink on the outskirts of downtown Brighton, Michigan, walls splashed with vibrant colors and bike-themed gifts welcome bicycle enthusiasts. Most people who walk through the door are greeted by name and their smiles add to the fun and cozy atmosphere. This is Hometown Bicycles LLC, owned and operated by the husband and wife duo, Shaun and Dawn. After nine years, their path to creating a well-loved business has been quite a ride.

Dawn and Shaun cite much of their success to the service they’ve modeled their entire operation on. With over 22,000 bike repairs performed since 2010, Hometown Bicycles has made quite an impression on the local community. However, it’s clear that people don’t just visit the store to shop or get their bikes fixed: They come for the sense of belonging and human connection.

Starting Out

The Hometown Bicycles story has roots dating back to Shaun’s childhood. Since he was too young to help his uncle work on cars, Shaun started tinkering with bikes. His love of biking stuck with him, so he jumped on the opportunity to lease a building and start his own shop many years later. At the time, Dawn was working as a graphic designer. But soon the new cycling business took off and she knew it was time to jump all in.   

So what was Hometown Bicycles doing differently when other cycling stores were dying?

Hometown Values

Most bike stores focus solely on sales and only service the bikes that they sell. The staff at Hometown Bicycles, however, realize that great service can leave a big impression.

Shaun puts it simply: “The value that we offer people has to be greater than the price.

Customers can (of course) purchase a bike anywhere, but they’ll always need another human to service their ride. While learning about the scope of work that’s required on each repair, the team at Hometown Bicycles actually takes the time to get to know their customers. They’re on a mission to bring humanity back into the world of retail and their excellent service is just one of the many ways they’ve accomplished this goal.

Dawn compares their service philosophy to the classic TV program, The Andy Griffith Show.

The Andy Griffith Show takes place in the small town of Mayberry, where neighbors know each other by name, help each other out in times of need, and work together in the best interest of the community. We hope to bring some of that hometown feeling back to retail,” says Dawn.

An example of the generous spirit that embodies Hometown Bicycles was demonstrated just a few weeks ago. After Dan, longtime customer and friend was tragically killed in a cycling accident, Shaun and Dawn helped organize a memorial ride to support Dan’s family. In just one week of organizing the ‘Do It For Dan Memorial Ride’, over 550 people showed up to raise awareness of cycling and traffic safety and finish Dan’s ride.


  • Hometown Bicycles

    Personalized Service. Shaun and Dawn are passionate about providing great service and connecting with every customer. 

  • Bike Service

    It Can Be Fixed. The team at Hometown Bicycles have serviced and repaired over 19,000 bikes in the past nine years.

  • Shaun and Dawn

    Dynamic Duo. Shaun and Dawn are the husband and wife team who own Hometown Bicycles LLC in Brighton.

The Spirit of Giving

 

The team at Hometown Bicycles have found several other opportunities to show their love for Livingston County. They help out the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and local high school mountain bike clubs. You’ll also find them at community events sharing their passion for cycling by conducting workshops about bike safety and care.

 

In fact, this dedication to the community is what attracted Dawn and Shaun to become business members at Lake Trust. They felt that we’d be a good match due to our common involvement in the community and dedication to personalized service. We strengthened our relationship last summer when Hometown Bicycles played a big role in our Bikes for Tykes event.

 

 

Being Granted a New Opportunity

 

About a year ago, Dawn and Shaun came up with a unique idea to share their success with the community. They had extra space in the back of their shop and they wanted to turn it into a business incubator space. A business incubator offers a working space at a low cost to start-ups to help them get started and grow without the pressure of paying a large lease or high rent every month. With more flexibility in cash flow, a business owner has the freedom to experiment with pricing, product offerings, and can decide if being an entrepreneur is even the right path for them.

 

“I’d rather have someone try their idea in a safe, low-pressure environment than drain their savings and realize that owning a business isn’t for them,” said Shaun when he explained the thought behind the incubator space. He also shared that when Hometown Bicycles was just getting started, an option like this would have helped to relieve some financial pressure.

 

A short time after Shaun and Dawn shared this desire with our Commercial Services Team, we reached out to them with a unique opportunity. The Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Indianapolis was offering the Elevate Grant1 to help enhance local economic development, job creation, and business expansion. We helped Dawn and Shaun with their grant application and in September they were awarded a $25,000 grant!  

 

The Hometown Business Incubator is nearly complete and a few local fitness groups have already found value in the space. Shaun and Dawn plan to host an official grand opening for the space later this year.  

 

Keep Riding

 

The connections that Shaun, Dawn, and the Hometown Bicycles team have forged in the Brighton community go beyond a simple purchase at a store. This local business has brought so many people together by simply being authentic and welcoming. And that feeling of belonging is enough to keep anyone riding strong.

 

 

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SEE ALSO: Finding a Home With Momentum Construction  |  Changing The Game: Ultimate Soccer Arenas

 

Photo Credit: Diana Liang

 

1Third party website. Lake Trust Credit Union is not responsible for the content, availability, security or compliance of any linked third party websites. In addition, the site's privacy policies may differ from those of Lake Trust. 

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