By Lauri Lee
DreamBikes, a used bike store at NorthGate Shopping Center that opened in October 2016, sports an innovative model for how they do business. While it may appear to be just another bike store when you walk in and see rows of bicycles, this is just one component of what DreamBikes is all about.
“We’re also an employment program for high school and post high school youth teaching job and life skills in a bike shop setting,” said Josh Barrett, the store’s manager. “Since opening at NorthGate, we have provided hands-on paid job training for how to fix and sell the bikes to approximately 12 Northside teens.”
DreamBikes mission is to help their employees gain the training, experience and life coaching to realize their life goals. “We’re not looking for long-term employees. Most employees work with us for roughly two years,” said Barrett. “In addition to training, we also have a college scholarship program.” Teens interested in the DreamBikes training program can apply directly to Barrett by stopping into the store.
“We accept donations of gently used bicycles, parts and accessories from the community,” Barrett explained. As a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, the program is sustained through the resale of donated bicycles at an affordable price. “We have also given away over 50 bikes to kids since we’ve opened on the Northside,” said Barrett. “This is done primarily through groups such as Free Bikes 4 Kidz and through Northside elementary schools.” This summer, DreamBikes plans to have free mobile bike repair that takes place directly in Northside neighborhoods.
DreamBikes, 1131 N. Sherman Avenue, is located in the NorthGate Shopping Center. They are holding a Grand Opening Open House Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. They’d like to meet their Northside neighbors, so please consider stopping by to greet them.