In the second of our Retail Partner Spotlights, we feature The Meteor in Little Rock, AR. A shop on the front edge of combining complimentary passions in shared spaces, in this case the glorious combination of bikes and coffee! We first connected with Chris St. Peter and his crew after we were introduced by a mutual good friend and industry match maker, Tony Karklins at Allied Cycle Works. It quickly became clear we shared the same passions for great bikes, great coffee, and great retail. So when the new shop opened it’s doors earlier this year, it was an easy decision to work together, utilize our combined talents and every-bike-built-to-order approach to serve the vibrant riding community of Little Rock... and soon beyond. Following is a Q+A session between Stuart and Chris about partnership, community and the future for The Meteor.
Stuart: What’s the history of the store and people behind The Meteor?
Chris: The Meteor was founded in 2016 by partners Doug Zell and myself, Chris St. Peter. Doug Zell is also the founder of Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea, one of the most important players in the coffee industry. I'm a lawyer who was previously with a large international law firm, then a small patent litigation firm, before making the leap to a business owner-operator. Doug and I are both avid cyclists and close friends, largely through our shared love of the sport. Before founding The Meteor, we often wondered out loud why there were so few beautiful retail environments that combined truly great coffee and exceptional bikes -- two cultures that compliment each other -- so we started a concept of our own: The Meteor.
Stuart: Tell us a little bit about The Meteor now, and your vision for the future?
Chris: The Meteor opened its first café in Little Rock in June 2017 with a complete renovation of a historic 1897 building. The Meteor's Instagram and Facebook pages showcase the brand's fresh, refined aesthetic. The café offers specialty coffee drinks, a selection of beer and wine, house-made baked goods, and a full menu of ingredient-driven food options. The bike shop offers a boutique retail environment that sells a curated selection of bikes, accessories, and Meteor-branded soft goods. We intentionally choose every product we carry, and we are dedicated to serving experienced cyclists, newcomers, commuters, cruisers, or anyone else who rides a bike. The Meteor also sponsors several elite-level race teams: Meteor X Giordana, The Meteor // Intelligentsia, The Meteor // Hey Allez!, Meteor Racing, and Leborne Women's Racing. The Meteor in the process of rolling out additional locations in select markets across the country. The Meteor is currently working on spaces in Austin, TX and Bentonville, AR, with more to come down the road.
Stuart: Describe the biking community and facilities of Little Rock?
Chris: Little Rock has a thriving and largely under-the-radar cycling community that is disproportionate to it's population. By way of example, Little Rock is home to Allied Cycle Works, Orbea USA, and formerly Competitive Cyclist. There are multiple group rides every day of the week and numerous local events and races throughout the year.
Little Rock also has a fantastic commuter and recreational cycling infrastructure, with favorites like the Big Damn Bridge (the longest pedestrian and bicycle bridge in North America) and Pinnacle Mountain State Park (a 2,356 acre state park connected to Little Rock's dedicated bike lanes).
Stuart: The Meteor came on board as one of our first Retail Partners, tell us why?
Chris: The Meteor partnered with roll: to further our goal of providing a curated selection of the finest brands for any given cycling discipline or purpose. Roll:'s no-nonsense functionality and simple, elegant aesthetics compliment our retail spaces and brand philosophy. In short, we feel that roll: is a perfect fit for The Meteor.
Stuart: What’s been your experience in collaborating with roll: so far?
Chris: The Meteor's experience with roll: has been fantastic so far. Roll: views The Meteor as a retail partner, not just another sales account. They provide top-notch customer service and have stood behind their product 100%.
Stuart: What’s the reaction been from your team and customers to the bikes in person?
Chris: The first reaction is always how the bikes look even better in person! More importantly, they're a blast to ride -- our team members have some of the best bikes money can buy, but they still love throwing a leg over a roll: for a test ride. Customers have reacted similarly: once a customer test rides a roll:, it's usually going home with them.
Stuart: Open mic! What else would you like people to know about The Meteor or roll:?
Chris: The Meteor is excited to have partnered with roll: in Little Rock and looks forward to growing the relationship in future locations!