The Odd Couple
Best Bike Shop | Statewide Winner and Best of Treasure Valley
At the risk of dating myself, I remember watching reruns of the TV series The Odd Couple when I was younger. The show was about two divorced men who shared an apartment in New York City despite having opposite personalities. Eventually, one remarried his ex-wife and the two went their separate ways, but not without first giving us five seasons of conflict and comedy.
Although an odd couple of its own, Bikes & Beans is no laughing matter. It’s a real business that discovered a way to bring its customers happiness in a different way.
Andrew Little opened his doors in 2017. He had always worked in the bike industry in one way or another. At the same time, he appreciated good conversations over a great cup of coffee.
The idea was a coffee shop and bike shop in one where he could sell exceptional coffee and also service bicycles — a double fix of sorts.
It might seem an odd combination, but think of Italy. It’s the birthplace of espresso and is still famous for its coffee culture. It also happens to be home to the 7th highest bike population in the world.
Andrew was simply combining this not-so-odd couple of industries into a single shop called Bikes & Beans.
And wow, has it ever worked out!
Selling bikes wasn’t part of the original business model, though. If his customers had a bike to sell, he would offer them on consignment. It just so happened that he had a single bike to sell on day one. Business grew and customers demanded more, so today you’ll find new bikes alongside those consignments.
As an avid mountain biker myself, I was concerned that selling coffee would cause people to not take the bike shop seriously. After all, I learned that Andrew was “the man” when it came to bikes. He can repair just about anything, he can apply a wicked coat of custom paint, and he caters to high-end clients — you know, custom one-off stuff for professionals.
So, does the coffee shop devalue the bike shop, or vice versa?
“People often come in for the bike service, but they return for the coffee,” says Andrew. “And go to any coffee shop and you’ll see bikes out front.”
Andrew is right. And he seems to be right about combining bikes and coffee, since Bikes & Beans does both extremely well.
Winning Idaho’s Best is no small feat, especially in a competitive category like Bike Shop. Yet, Bikes & Beans has done just that. Perhaps the reason why is because they’re so involved with the community. Or maybe it’s because they sell bikes for everyday people while also doing custom work for the pro who wants what nobody else can have. Or it could be thanks to the exceptional coffee they craft one cup at a time.
Whatever it is, the odd couple that is Bikes & Beans is working.