Tucked along the cross streets of 31st and Cherry, just east of Martini Corner sits a quaint bike shop called 816 Bicycle Collective. The organization has one goal: find and restore bikes to sell at prices that accommodate any Kansas City commuter’s budget.
The organization runs off donations and volunteers who are equally passionate over their mission. 816 Bicycle Collective held a house party Saturday afternoon in celebration of their grand opening at their new location, 514 E. 31st St.
The store has a warm and welcoming atmosphere filled with genuine smiles and wholehearted greetings. With picturesque features such as exposed brick and beautifully crafted gold buildings, the shop holds a historic vibe with an eccentric twist.
Founding volunteer Suzanne Hogan gave insight into the organization.
“A group of friends got together back in 2007, and we were just into riding bikes,” Hogan said. “The more we started to hang out, we realized there was a need to have a place where people could come and be able to work on their bikes and share knowledge.”
Hogan highlighted the shop’s growth through new volunteers and support from the community, making 816 Bicycle Collective what it is today.
As people started streaming through the doorway for the party, Hogan didn’t miss a beat to make each person felt important and embraced.
She stressed the importance of forming a relationship with the community, and having this grand opening party was a perfect way to show their appreciation.
“We thought it was important to say thank you to the community that’s been supporting us for so long and thank you to the volunteers that have been making this happen,” Hogan said. “We really wanted to open our doors and show off all of the hard work we’ve been able to accomplish thanks to all of the community support.”
Hogan said the organization wants to provide an efficient form of transportation for those in need, selling bicycles to people who may not have the funds to afford one from other businesses.
“A lot of low-income commuters can’t afford bike shops, and this has been a savior for them because they can come in and not be turned away for their financial means,” Hogan explained. “We teach them how to fix things themselves, and that empowers them and gets them back on the road.”
Hogan hopes the organization can work to expand its audience in the future.
“I know right now we’d like to be open more; it’d be cool if we could be open every day,” Hogan said. “I have pipe dreams of a mobile shop targeting neighborhoods, that’s my big dream, like an 816 mobile. But right now, even just being here is pretty good.”
You can visit the friendly volunteers of 816 Bicycle Collective Thursdays 3-6 p.m. and Saturdays 12-5 p.m.