MINNEAPOLIS -- The first-ever bike shop opened in north Minneapolis Saturday, promising a new opportunity to meet the community's fitness and social needs.
"A lot of people don't have access to an automobile and are far from the bus lines. So it's really good to be able to get walking shoes, water bottles, even just a coffee, without having to spend an hour and a half on the bus and five dollars in bus fare," said Jacob Flinsch-Garrison, manager at Venture North Bike Walk & Coffee.
Dozens of people attended the store's grand opening celebration at 1830 Glenwood Ave. N..
The store will offer bikes, helmets and bike gear, along with coffee and walking-related products. Customers will also be able to attend bike maintenance and safety classes. And the store is offering employment and training programs for north Minneapolis youth.
Venture North is partially funded by the City of Minneapolis through its Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant, which is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The city selected Redeemer Center for Life, a nonprofit community development organization, to operate Ventrue North.
City leaders believe the store will help those living and working in north Minneapolis make healthier choices.
Meantime, some young adults already welcome the opportunity to learn more about bike mechanics and customer service as part of the store's leadership employment program.
"[It's] something for the northside to grow. Something for people to visit north for. Just a lot of positivity," said Jemartae Taylor, who will be one of the store's interns.
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