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Connecticut Yankee Pedaller
Chariton Area Chamber/Main Street is proud to feature one of our local contributing businesses in the monthly Small Business Spotlight!
This month, we got the inside scoop on Connecticut Yankee Pedaller from owner, Dave Hendricks! Dave shared with us how the business got started, how it's grown, and what keeps it going!
Connecticut Yankee Pedaller is a family business. What are your names and job titles?
Owned and operated by the Hendricks family, Dave, Connie, Josh, and Jordan serve as President, Vice President, Assistant Manager, and Sales & Tech Lead, respectively!
How long have you been in business in Chariton?
In late 1980, for a period of one year, a partnership was formed, with Fred, Dave Hendricks, Glenn Williamson, and Mike Streit all sharing in the workings of the business. In October of 1981, Dave Hendricks became the sole proprietor of The Connecticut Yankee Pedaller, and the ownership has remained to date.
Can you share with us some of the history of the business?
The shop has been in 4 different locations, all in Lucas County, Iowa! The first, under Fred and the Partnership, was located at 209 1/2 N. Main with a back alley entrance. The second (for 10 years) was in the Hendricks' garage located at 613 Woodlawn, Chariton. After a move of the Hendricks family to the country, the third location was at Route 1, Box 61, Chariton, and allowed an increase in shop size from 480 square feet to 1,200. The location at 908 Court on the Chariton square came about in November 1998.
In April 2004, another 3,000 square foot section was added as there was an expansion into the vacant Ritz Movie Theater at 906 Court, one door down. This allowed for the display of a much larger amount of exercise equipment along with more bicycles!
The Winter of 2007-2008 saw major remodeling of the Ritz Theater into showroom space, and CYP moved out of the smaller drugstore that was started at the 908 location. The bicycle maintenance and assembly area has been increased in size to accommodate a greater number of bikes to be serviced and the increasing number of tricycles sold and serviced. CYP now has about 4,300 square feet of showroom space for bicycles, fitness equipment, clothing, accessories, parts, and a service area. With the tall ceilings of the Ritz Theater, there is a lower showroom and service area as well as an upper showroom that is ramped to accommodate all!
What sort of items do you sell?
We sell and service bikes, trikes, and the like!
Why do you do what you do?
We like bicycles. They are good exercise and fun transportation. Also, they are simple and amazing machines.
Was there a specific moment or realization where you made the decision to start your own business?
In 1998, I quit full-time social work (after 20 years) to go from part-time Bicycle Shop to full-time Bicycle Shop. Owning one's own business is rewarding and enables one to be creative and responsible.
What inspires you to keep at it each day?
Work is rewarding! It also allows one to earn a living and support the family.
Why did you choose Chariton for your business?
We moved to Chariton to take my first job out of college. The Bicycle Shop was started in Chariton by someone else, and therefore remained in Chariton.
What are your biggest challenges as a business owner?
My biggest challenges are dealing with inventory control, payroll, marketing, customer relations, staff scheduling, the IRS, and showcasing products in the store.
What are your biggest rewards?
Seeing customers smile because they have a great product that serves them well.
What will people get from your business that they won't get anywhere else?
Great personalized customer service :)
Learn more about Connecticut Yankee Pedaller at:
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