Greetings from Stockton Street! There’s been a ton of activity at ZenCog this summer, and we’re so excited I thought I’d do a little status update with some staff and shop news.
You may have noticed…after almost five years, we have our first “big kid” website! Thank you to Katie Smith of Storycrafted for taking on the challenge of mercy-killing our old abandoned blogs and bringing us into a new era. Katie also did most of the photography for the website. I figured why not keep a good thing going, so we recently brought Katie on as our new Brand Manager. She’ll be managing the website and keeping tabs on our social media, as well as coordinating events. Welcome aboard, Katie!
Welcome Back, Pop Pop!
Matt Bort is back on board wrenching and managing the sales floor after his travels across North America over the last year or so. He and Katie bike toured from NYC to Halifax, Nova Scotia last year, after which he spent a few months working at Denver’s Bike Share program and mountain biking out west. He’s currently planning mountain biking trips to the trails in Pisgah, North Carolina and Moab, Utah. He recently returned from Skagway, Alaska, where they visited some of our old customers, Matt and Emily, who just opened a fat bike rental shop, Alcan Outfitters.
Mike Sanders is healing up from a bum ankle he earned kicking himself in the butt when his bike got swiped earlier this summer. Fortunately the thief was not of the dedicated variety, and the bike was found abandoned the same night.
Chris Woolvin has moved on to spread the zen and pursue his “company computer guy” dreams at a new gig with Mac Tech Pro. Brandi, too, has spread her wings and we wish her luck with her pursuits.
My partner Clark Schaffer, the Riverside Tax Guy, recently moved to Riverside and is taking accounting clients at his spot on King Street. I guess taxes are one of those guarantees in life. He plays bass and is thinking about starting a blues band.
Continuing with the musical theme, our mechanic Milan Algood (of Antique Animals notoriety) is filling in with New Strangers and just played a show at our favorite dive bar, Shantytown. Personally, I’m playing drums for Pretty Police State with Stacey Bennett. We had a great time playing at One Spark this spring.
Cranking ‘Em Out
Thanks to you guys, we’re sweating to throw bikes out the door fast enough. This has been our busiest summer since opening ZenCog in 2009, but fortunately we’ve had the help of Rich Cotter to fill in building new bikes after hours when we’re really slammed. We plan to keep him very busy, because I’m excited to announce that we just signed an agreement to carry Kona Bicycles. ZenCog is the only Jacksonville Kona dealer, and we think they’re a great brand. We’ll definitely be sharing more about Kona’s mountain and road bikes in the near future.
At the shop, we added a zippier computer and we’re switching to a new point-of-sale system that will really help out with the checkout process. I have a few more changes up my sleeve to improve the flow in the store, so stay tuned. We’re also in talks to get a new apparel line in the next couple of months (including new shop jerseys, hooray). That’s just waiting on a top-secret revamp of the ZenCog logo….cha-cha-cha-cha-changes!
We’ll be back soon with more updates. Thank you all for supporting ZenCog, the little Riverside bike shop with a big steel heart.