Collingwood’s first ever cafe and bike shop has officially opened its doors.
Located at 246-A Hurontario St., Summit Social House is a full-service, bike-friendly cafe that caters to both the cycling community in Collingwood and coffee lovers alike. The licensed establishment was designed as a place for people to gear-up or wind-down with friends and refuel after pursuing their athletic passions.
“Think pre-bike coffee, post-bike beer,” laughed Bruce Zigman, owner of Summit Social House.
The shop features a coffee bar and lounge in the front (currently only offering take out due to closures caused by COVID-19) and a bike mechanic in the back. The business model is by no means new — with bike cafes existing all over the world — but it is the first of its kind in Collingwood. The bike-friendly space also has hooks so people can bring their bikes right inside, and a large TV to showcase the Grand Tours and other seasonal sporting events.
“We wanted to add that athletic profile to a hangout space in town,” said Zigman. “Timing was just right to do it here and the cycling community was very receptive.”
Originally from Montreal, Zigman moved to Collingwood with his wife and kids two years ago. The goal was to escape the city life and embrace their passion for the outdoors, every day. Cycling had always been a serious interest of Zigman’s, who started racing when he was a teen, and he has been involved in the bike industry in some capacity ever since.
“When we decided to move to Collingwood, I started thinking about what I was going to do. I knew it had to be bike related because no matter what I did, I always kept getting pulled back into the industry,” he said.
Coffee, on the other hand, came much later.
Zigman started taking courses on coffee after meeting his wife and developing a taste for the inky brew.
“Not drinking it for the rush of the caffeine or the addiction, but because it actually tastes really good and I enjoy the flavours,” Zigman said. “That’s what led me to this — it’s essentially been a 2.5-year project in the making.”
Zigman teamed up with two roasters to offer a variety of unique options to get your caffeine kick at the coffee shop: Barista, a micro-roastery from Montreal, and Propeller Coffee Co. in Toronto.
“We want people to kind of look at coffee the way they look at wine,” said Zigman. “Sit down and enjoy the flavours in it, not just for the 13 per cent alcohol in it.”
And, true to his hometown, Zigman gets Montreal bagels shipped in fresh every week.
On the bike side of the business, an on-site mechanic is available to help with any bike-related needs — whether it be a seasonal tune-up, a flat tire changed, custom parts ordered and installed, or a full maintenance overhaul.
“It’s full-scale. We aren’t turning anyone away,” said Zigman. “We are really just looking to get you back on the road, but with insane attention to detail and getting bikes back within one-to-three days.”
The coronavirus has caused bike shortages worldwide, which has made it even more difficult for a new business still learning its clientele, but Zigman said they are taking it day-by-day.
“We are making it work and everyone is smiling, so that is what matters,” he said.
Zigman’s number one goal is to have an active role in Collingwood’s cycling community. When restrictions caused by COVID-19 subside, he plans to work closely with local bike clubs and youth cycling programs and offer sponsorship opportunities for athlete development, among others.
He also hopes to have a fleet of fat bike rentals available during the winter months.
“We hope Summit Social House becomes synonymous with any conversation surrounding the cycling community in Collingwood,” Zigman said.
For now, he is enjoying the connections he is building in the community — even amid a stay at home order — regardless if they are with an avid cycler or someone saying hello for a cup of Joe.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better opening,” said Zigman, who opened for bike services starting Apr. 6, with the coffee shop following a few days later. “From people to business owners, everyone is so friendly and supportive. It’s a great community.”
The coffee shop is currently open Tuesday to Sunday, 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., with bike services available Tuesday to Saturday.