Couve Cycle, a company that takes beer drinkers around the city center’s breweries on a 10-person, pedal-powered vehicle, is for sale for $50,000. But if owner Michael Palensky doesn’t find a local buyer, he will sell the party cycle and company to a buyer in another city.
Palensky, 50, opened the business in 2016 after generating buzz through a crowdsourcing website. It was the first of its kind in Vancouver, but the beer-cycle carts are popular in Portland, Bend, Ore., and many other cities.
Couve Cycle had made a name for itself with seven employees and two of the bike vehicles, renting space out of a garage near Smokin’ Oak on Columbia Street, by the time 2020 rolled around.
“COVID hit and wiped me out,” he said. “Taking people into establishments that were closed didn’t do too well.”
Palensky temporarily shut down the business, sought a loan that didn’t help him and his insurance lapsed.
He first posted the business for sale on the company’s Facebook page in November, offering up the logos, contacts, waivers and email database. He sold one of the bike vehicles last year and moved the main one to storage, so a new buyer would want to find a new garage downtown, he said.
He’s talked to a few interested buyers, and he’s open to offers and inquiries.
New beer-cycle carts are roughly $53,000, according to Palensky; companies, such as Pedal Crawler, make new ones, although the company doesn’t provide upfront costs.
Palensky said he’s seeking to spend more time with his family, and he also works full time providing learning support for eighth-graders at Gaiser Middle School. He’s also coaching and assisting in coaching two volleyball teams.
“I would love to see someone local getting it started again,” he said. “I would love to see it rolling again.”