Our October Business of the Month shines a spotlight on Jolly Circle, a comprehensive bike shop situated in the heart of Springville, Utah, owned by entrepreneur and avid biked Griffin Park. At Jolly Circle, the love for cycling merges seamlessly with a commitment to providing top-notch service, making it a go-to destination for cycling enthusiasts. Whether you're a seasoned rider or a novice exploring the world of biking, Jolly Circle offers a diverse range of services and products, catering to all your biking needs. Keep reading to discover the remarkable journey and offerings of this thriving hub for bike enthusiasts.
UMLF: Hi Griffin, we're excited to interview you as our Business of the Month! Tell us about yourself.
Jolly Circle: My name is Griffin Park, I'm 27 and I was raised in Springville, Utah, where my bike shop is located. I have been pursuing a degree in exercise science at UVU for the past 4 years as I've been starting and running this business. I love to ride bikes, although I don't get to do it as much as I'd like. I love to ski and be outside. My wife and I just had our first kid, so it's been an adventure trying to grow a business while in school and now with a baby in the house. But I've enjoyed it a lot and I've grown quite a bit.
UMLF: Can you tell us about the history and founding of Jolly Circle? What inspired the name and concept behind your business?
Jolly Circle: “I started racing bikes at 10 years old, I got a job in a bike shop the day I turned 15 to help me afford to continue racing. In 2017, I was still working in a bike shop in Orem, but I started to do bicycle repair in my neighborhood on the side for some extra money. I did this each year, and it grew each year. In the Spring of 2020 I was doing enough work for me to quit my other job and do bike repair full time here in Springville.
Up until 2020 I was doing everything mobile, driving my car around with a tool box and a bunch of parts, fixing bikes at peoples houses. In 2020 I was able to get a little shop space, and make it more of an official business. My idea was to make bikes and bike repair more accessible to people who weren't "bike savvy". Sometimes bike shops can come off a little intimidating/snobby, looking down on those who ride cheaper bikes, or don't know much about bikes. I wanted to have a bike shop that anyone would feel comfortable walking into.
My dad was a pretty big influence in my passion for bikes. He started training with me at 9 years old and helped me start racing. When I was young, he created a team with me and some of my buddies, called Jolly Circle Racing. Jolly Circle is the street my dad grew up on, and it kind of became a family brand at that point. I named the shop after that, because that is where I got my start with bicycles.”
UMLF: What are some of the services you provide in addition to bike sales?
Jolly Circle: “We fix all kinds of bikes, and sell all kinds of bicycle accessories. We also offer bicycle maintenance classes, as well as coaching for young bike racers. We also still do mobile bicycle repair, but now we pick up the bikes and bring them back to the shop for repair.”
UMLF: How has the local community responded to your shop? Are there any memorable customer stories you'd like to share?
Jolly Circle: “The community has been amazingly supportive of our shop. So many of our customers tell us that they love to support local businesses. We have a great turn out for our community rides when we hold them. My favorite thing is when we have a kid who gets a new bike from us, or gets their bike fixed with us. The moment they hop on the bike and start smiling is so cool to see.”
UMLF: Utah is obviously known for its beautiful landscapes and outdoor
activities. How does Jolly Circle contribute to promoting biking as a
recreational and transportation option in Springville?
Jolly Circle: “We host community rides on a semi regular basis. This year we have tried to pick routes that highlight unique or cool things about Springville, like our Art Museum and our many parks. We also try to help the riders to learn new safe routes to navigate the city by bike.
I also have plans this winter to create a cycling map of Springville, showing which roads to utilize for transportation by bicycle, and which to avoid. Riding a bike out on the roads, as transportation, for errands, or to commute to school or work can be kind of intimidating. The map will hopefully build some confidence in those who want to make riding a bike a bigger part of their life.”
UMLF: Entrepreneurship most definitely has its highs and lows. Can you tell us about a challenge you faced as a small business owner and how you overcame it?
Jolly Circle: “Starting the business in 2020 had its benefits and its drawbacks. It was extremely hard to get our hands on any new bikes, or to even get any accounts opened up with any bike brands. This was due to the extremely high demand for bikes at this time. I also didn't have a large sum of money to put in a large order of bikes, so the bicycle distributing companies did not want to do business with a smaller shop like us. It was also hard to get parts for repairs, because the supply of parts was so strained at that time. In response to this, we focused really hard on repairs, and fixing broken parts, rather than replacing them with new ones.
It turned out to be a great thing for the shop, because we were able to bring in a good amount of revenue through repairs, without having to go heavily into debt bringing in a huge order of bikes. It definitely forced me to be ok with the business growing a little slower, which was a good thing with me also being in school full time.”
UMLF: How do you feel like the Utah Microloan Fund has helped your business?
Jolly Circle: “UMLF helped me to take the next step into becoming a full service bike shop. UMLF allowed me to have opportunity to bring in a full order of new bikes to sell, in addition to the opportunity to renovate a new shop location. Both of these things have helped my business grow quite a bit, and will allow my business to continue to see great growth over the next few years. I'm very grateful for UMLF and for how easy they've been to work with.”
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