Rosewood ‘incubates’ new bike shop

See how this Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative is using part of their space to help a new – and needed – business get off the ground, in the Centennial neighborhood …

Portland State University Business Outreach Program Liz Feldman talks with Elizabeth Quiroz of Bicycle Transportation Alliance at the front desk of the Rosewood Community Center during their Bike Week celebration.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Since it started, the Rosewood Initiative Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (Rosewood) has created programs to help outer East Portland people learn how to start a new business, or operate their ongoing enterprise more successfully.

And now, during the last week in March, Rosewood introduced a new idea – and became a “business incubator”. That describes an organization that helps new and startup companies to develop, by providing services such as management training – and, in this case, the needed space in which to start a bicycle shop.

Rosewood Bikes” Director Matt Martin gets ready to work on another bicycle in his new shop.

Matt Martin, the director of “Rosewood Bikes”, said his crew had spent several weeks cleaning junk out of a back room, building in a workbench, and bringing in tools needed to service and repair bicycles, in order to be ready for their opening day of March 25.

“By being our fiscal sponsor and providing us space, we’re able to start a ‘pop-up bike shop’ here inside the Community Center,” Martin told East Portland News.

By “pop-up”, Martin meant that it isn’t a permanent installation. “It can be easily changed around, and perhaps be made mobile. It is a business incubation space to start this effort out.”

Rosewood Bikes entrepreneur and owner Matt Martin says he loves helping people ride on well-serviced bikes.

He’s adapted the idea, Martin said, from running a community organization in the past, called the “Community Bike Project” – that was when he lived in Omaha, Nebraska.

“While we’re in this space, we’ll be offering services like bike repairs, teaching people about bike repairs, and providing resources for the community.

“And it’s community-need driven,” Martin explained. “In the first 45 minutes we were ‘open for business’ we worked on four bikes. This shows if there’s pretty good demand for the service.”

Starting out, they’re not even charging for services. “Pretty much everything that we have has been donated to the project so far,” Martin added. “So, we’re able to provide this as a service to the community.”

City of Portland Bureau of Transportation Transportation Demand Management Specialist Timo Forsberg stands behind some of the many bicycles that were donated to the project by Nike in Beaverton.

“It’s amazing what Rosewood is doing here with this bike shop”, remarked City of Portland Bureau of Transportation Transportation Demand Management Specialist Timo Forsberg.

“I’m here to support what they’re doing, and to find out how we might start some partnerships,” Forsberg said. “Part of what I do is offer education and classes encouraging people to use more ‘active transportation’ – which could be walking to a bus stop or train, taking a walk, or in this case, going by bike.”

Volunteer Jim Ashley-Walker helps tune up another bicycle at Rosewood Bikes.

By late summer, Martin said he hopes to open a free-standing business in a regular retail space.

“When I open my own shop, the intention is to charge a reasonable rate to the general public for services,” Martin explained. “Then we’ll also be able to offer discounts to people who, otherwise, would not be able to afford to get bike repair services done.

“I want to make sure that anyone who walks in the door can get their bicycle fixed – or get a basic bike for transportation – and the economic need will not stand in the way,” Martin said.

The Rosewood Initiative is helping a new business get started, here, within its Community Center Space.

To learn more about Rosewood Bikes, see their official website: CLICK HERE.

Other social media contacts include:


Or, roll in your bike:

Rosewood Community Center
16126 SE Stark Street
Portland 97233

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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