At Coes, we passionately believe there is nothing like the local highstreet. Which is why, this summer, we’ll be exploring and championing the businesses that add diversity and character to our hometowns. Afterall, our individual differences make this life more colourful!
To kick off our summer of spreading the love with our local indies, we sit down with Steve Grimwood, owner of Elmy Cycles and bike aficionado.
Hi Steve. Tell us, when did you start your business?
Elmy Cycles was started in 1922. I joined in 1990 and two years later I took over.
That’s around the same time Coes was started! How would you describe your business to someone who’s not been in the store before?
We run a busy Cycle Repair Workshop and sell bicycles, spares & accessories. We specialise in high-end bikes from brands such as Bianchi and Ridley. Our Store Manager, Joanne, runs a very well-renowned women’s department offering bike fitting and advice tailored to women.
We love the blue Bronson bike you kindly lent us for our summer photoshoot. Apart from your obvious love of bikes, what made you decide to go into this industry?
I’ve always enjoyed working on them. I started in the trade at a work experience placement during my school years and never stopped.
What is it about Ipswich that makes it the perfect place for your business?
It has a fantastic mix of people, which is great for us… we don’t rely on one particular type of customer. Not to mention that 10 min in any direction from Ipswich and you are in the lovely Suffolk countryside – it’s pefect mix of urban and rural, with great links to London!
Ideal for cycling! Why do you think it is so important to shop with independent businesses?
It’s absolutely essential we invest in and support local business to ensure our communities stay vibrant and connected. There is no link between huge multi-national companies and your local School PTA or Community group. Local shops not only provide a great service, they are the eyes and ears of the local community, getting involved in supporting projects and providing employment… especially to young people. Every pound spent in a local independent is an investment in your community.
Why do your customers shop with you over alternatives?
They come to us because we listen, help them make good choices and offer a great service. Online reviews are good, but they generally will tell you why a product is great for the person reviewing it. Our job is to help you find what will work best for you, rather than what might work best for someone else.
Finally, what local event or development are you most looking forward to?
We always look forward to the Suffolk Show, it’s a great opportunity to meet lots of local people. We also help out with the Crafted Classique Sportive from the Ipswich Waterfront which has a lovely atmosphere amd is tonnes of fun – if it’s something you think you’d like to get involved in, sign up now, it’s a fantastic ride and if you need a bike you know where to come!
Visit Elmy Cycles in St Helen’s Street or at elmycycles.co.uk
For more on the fantastic independent brands in our hometowns, make sure you stay up to date with our blog this summer! Next time, we sit down with John from The House in Town…