Downtown Bike owner Aaron Todd knew that he had to start with a small location in his business’ early years.
Todd opened his bicycle service and repair shop in October 2015 and worked for the first two months in his own garage before moving into a 60-square-foot room in the same building as 3rd Street Antiques in downtown Puyallup.
Todd made the space work for seven months, but it soon became clear that he needed more room as his business grew.
At the end of July, Todd moved into a 304-square-foot space on 109 E. Stewart Ave, only a few blocks away from his old shop. The move made a lot of difference, especially with the large windows at the shop’s entrance.
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“Having street front exposure is huge,” said Todd, 42. “There’s a stoplight right on the corner, and a lot of people stop on the street.”
Todd enjoys waving at people who pass by, and many stop in to say hello.
“Community outreach is important to me,” he said. “When my team works, we’ll be in front of customers. It’s my goal that we will always be where people can see what we’re doing and ask questions.”
The new shop shares the building with Playback Sports, which provides used sporting goods, but doesn’t provide bike servicing.
Community outreach is important to me. It’s my goal that we will always be where people can see what we’re doing and ask questions.
Aaron Todd, owner of Downtown Bike
“We have a good relationship with Playback Sports,” Todd said.
While he provides his customers with bike tune-ups, flat tire fixes, or new bike parts, he focuses on finding the right bike for the customer.
“One of the things that’s very important to me is bike fit,” said Todd. “I can do a fit analysis and use body measurements to find the right bike to suit their needs.”
Todd is currently the only employee of the shop, but he does have some help.
Cody Little, a 15-year-old student from Puyallup High School, interns at the shop, learning from Todd basic tune-up techniques.
“He’s a great inspiration for the bike community in Puyallup,” Little said of Todd.
Todd raced competitively in mountain biking, road biking and BMX biking. He took sixth place in state in two different BMX racing competitions.
Because of his experience in biking, Todd works with any make, model, brand and type. He has all types of bikes ready to be serviced in his shop: BMX bikes, electric bikes, triathlon bikes, mountain bikes and road bikes.
Todd’s wife, Katherine, a Rogers High School graduate, has lived in Puyallup since 1979. Todd credits her for thinking up the name Downtown Bike, which references the downtown Puyallup atmosphere.
Before Downtown Bike, Todd was working at a technology company in Seattle, but he always wanted to work with bikes, and has been handling them for 20 years.
When Todd moved the shop to its newest location, he noticed a 23-percent increase in business. He now hopes to increase his staff.
“As I continue to grow, I anticipate needing more bodies,” he said.
For now, Todd has the company of Little and his two children, Benjamin, 9, and Autumn, 7, who occasionally hang out in the shop. Sometimes business hours change so that he has time to drop his kids off at school and be both a dad and a businessman.
“It’s one of the joys of being a small business owner and doing whatever it takes to make it work,” Todd said.