When I moved to New York early 2013, of course one of the first things on my to-do list was to find the best pho restaurant in the city. After asking around and trying a few places, I decided that Pho Bang in Chinatown was my new favorite joint. The pho was nothing like my mom's--but good enough for a pho fix, the workers spoke Vietnamese to me, prices were cheap, and the owners reminded me of grandparents I never had growing up (RIP). Plus, I love supporting small family businesses.
As I was leaving the restaurant one night, I walked a few steps down Mott Street until bright vibrant colors caught the corner of my eye. I leaned into the glass door, saw beautiful bikes of all color combinations and a lit "Strada" sign hanging on the wall. I've never seen a cooler bike shop. Unfortunately, they had closed for the day so I told myself I would definitely come back.
The next day, I went to visit Strada and check out their bikes. I was met by one of the Founders, Tommy. He was so nice and helpful. Tommy told me about their custom bikes, how the shop had only been open for a year, and how they first started selling bikes on Craigslist. I was immediately inspired by their story of hard work and hustle. Cory and Tommy are both the same age as me, so I really connected with their success story and work ethic.
After that, I waited 3 months for winter to end so I could go and buy my first bike from Strada. I was probably one of the more annoying customers who couldn't decide on the color combinations. Cory and Tommy were both super patient and supportive in me designing my first ride. Since then, I've fallen in love with my bike and ride it proudly everywhere. My Strada custom bike has become an integral part of my NYC experience. I ride it to work, I ride it to meetings, I ride it at night when meeting friends at the bar. If I couldn't get somewhere by bike (i.e. rain or snow), I was most likely bailing.
So when I conceived the idea to do a web series on NYC entrepreneurs, Mott Street Cycles was definitely on my wish list. The whole team is made up of some of the coolest, most down to earth and inspiring guys I've met in New York. It's been a real honor for me to spend some quality time with them and share their story with you all! Enjoy!