Clark County at Work: Vancouver Cyclery

By Mary Ricks, Columbian news assistant




• Each week, The Columbian offers a brief snapshot of an interesting Clark County business. Send ideas to Mary Ricks: mary.ricks@columb...; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.

Business name: Vancouver Cyclery.

Owner: Bob Sweet.

Store manager: Mike Sheldon.

Address: 10108 N.E. Highway 99.

What the business does: Vancouver's oldest bicycle store sells new bicycles, all types of accessories for bikes including tires, tubes, bags, gloves and parts for the repair of used bikes. They also sell cycling shoes and clothing. The store does not sell used bicycles.

Steps to build your business: Owner Bob Sweet said he has always tried to keep close to his market in Vancouver, which is bicycles for the entire family. He sells and repairs bikes for the 2-year-old rider on up through adults. He has built his business on giving excellent service to his customers.

Greatest challenge: Although people ride bikes all year long, the bicycle business is basically seasonal. Sweet said he has to watch his spending in the slower winter months.

What's ahead: A plan is in motion to add a health insurance plan for his employees.

Owner's business history: Sweet has been in the industry since 1971, when he was a bike assembler and repair mechanic. After several years in the retail business he became a factory representative for a bike company and traveled from store to store selling bikes and parts for 13 years. In the early 1990s he bought a bike shop in Hazel Dell and changed the name to Vancouver Cyclery. Sweet moved to a new building at his current location in 2002. Sweet continues to own the business, but when he turned 65 he turned the store over to his employees to run.

Employees: From three to seven depending on the season.

Telephone: 360-574-5717.


Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.