When a person steps into The Bike Factory at 1530 Troy Road in Edwardsville, he or she sees a line of quality bikes and accessories in a professional shop.
As someone continues on in the store and gets to visit with General Manager Amanda Greathouse and staff, the customer will also witness people who love their work and are excited every day to come on the job.
With Greathouse, there is almost a gleam in her eyes about being general manager of the shop. TBF Industries LLC, doing business as The Bike Factory, was formed in September 2012 and the business opened to the public on Aug. 1, 2013.
“We are a locally owned and run shop; we are not a franchise,” Greathouse said. “Our mission statement is 'The Bike Factory aims to provide not only excellent customer service, but also community service through growing our employee knowledge, skill and involvement. We seek to strengthen relationships among people in a purposeful manner to promote and encourage the well-being of individuals and families in the community.
“We aim to be the ‘Hometown Shop,’ offering the best care and attention possible to our customers and community with a commitment to friendly, informative service.'”
Greathouse and her staff take that mission statement to heart and each day do their part to make sure they do offer customers and the community the best possible service.
Russ Gulledge of Edwardsville is the owner of The Bike Factory. Gulledge is a graduate of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and is also part owner in an environmental company. Greathouse is a resident of Granite City and a graduate of SIUE. Service department manager Alec MacDonald is also a graduate of SIUE and resident of Edwardsville.
There are several things that Greathouse said she feels separate The Bike Factory from other shops.
“A few things that make us stand out from the other shops is our continuous knowledge of the products we carry, and our going that extra mile to make sure that everyone who comes through the door feels comfortable and is given that one-on-one time, to get their questions answered and learn answers to questions they may not have asked,” she said. “We also want to make sure they are getting the right product that fits their needs.”
The Bike Factory general manager said she believes her business separates itself from others with its focus on customer service.
“Whether you come in and know everything about bikes or know nothing, it doesn’t matter, we treat you the same and give you the best information, service and guidance that we can so when you walk out the door you are happy with the product you have purchased.”
Each Bike Factory purchase comes with a lifetime maintenance service, but the business also offers free basic maintenance classes, where anyone can have a hands on experience changing tires, chain maintenance and making adjustments to brakes.
The Bike Factory has a Junior Mechanics Program and this brings in local youth and teaches them about working on bikes. The kids work on donation bikes, which are restored back to the Glen Ed Food Pantry.
Another program for the Edwardsville business is Gobblers and Gears, which has a shop ride to local stores and purchase non-perishable items back to the Glen Ed Food Pantry.
"We also offer rental bikes and accessories, which is something that isn't offered in this area," Greathouse said.
"There are many options for how long you want to rent them as well as applying a percent of your rental fee toward the purchase of a new bike. When you purchase a kids bike from us and you need to upgrade to a larger size, if you bring the bike back in three years we will give you $50-$75 off your purchase of a new kids bike,
depending on the condition of the bike."
Greathouse values her employees and said the staff is “really amazing and does a fantastic job.”
“They themselves have a passion for cycling and are eager to help people get involved and excited about cycling every day as they are,” she said. “They are knowledgeable and continue to learn the newest innovations of cycling.”
For more information, contact The Bike Factory at 618-659-8706 or visit the store in the Montclaire Shopping Center in Edwardsville.