Beyond the pa
HOW eye-catching is the merchandise at White Pine Bicycle Co., a retail shop and showroom situated inside the Johnston Terminal, 25 Forks Market Rd., that specializes in multicoloured, custom-built singlespeed and fixed-gear bikes?
Well, consider this: every so often, Brendan McAndrew, White Pine’s 23-year-old owner, gets summoned to a customer’s home so he can get a handle on what their living room decor looks like before he gets busy putting together the bicycle of their dreams.
“They’ll phone and say they don’t care about price because it’s going to be an art piece they intend to hang on the wall,” says McAndrew, pocketing his wrench and pulling up a stool.
“But they want to make sure it matches their couch or coffee table or whatever, so they’ll have me over.”
As strange as that scenario may sound, McAndrew says those clients are the easiest to please.
“It’s not like I’ll ever have to worry about warranty questions or stuff like that because they’re never going to ride their bikes in the first place,” he said. I was just starting to hire employees and figured I could use what I was being taught in the classroom in the real world.
“Except it didn’t quite work out that way; what I was learning was ridiculous, in my mind, and didn’t pertain to what I was doing at all. So I got frustrated with university, quit and turned my attention to the store, full time.”