New Pleasant Hill shop caters to bike enthusiasts

bbashioum@demo-mo.comMay 3, 2013 

A new Pleasant Hill business offers a two-for-one deal: coffee and bicycles.

And for Owner Alan Voss, of Lone Jack, there is a level of precision for both.

New Town Bicycle and Coffee Shop opened in February at 115 Wyoming in the historic downtown district.

Voss, 42, is a passionate cyclist, having lost more than 100 pounds from the pastime in recent years.

“When you’ve done something like that, you want to share,” he said. “(Bicycling) is a great way to get exercise and a great way to get the family out for fun.”

Voss and his wife, Laura, who is a physician at the Pleasant Hill Medical Clinic, also enjoy cycling the Katy Trail across Missouri.

When Voss learned that state began making plans to expand the trail through Pleasant Hill, the idea spurred to open up his own shop as a resource to others bicyclists by providing repair services, along with rentals and sales -- as well as some caffeine.

“We actually visited a shop in Williams, Ariz. that was a coffee and bicycle shop,” Voss said. “They’re actually starting to pop up all over the country. Somehow bicycles and coffee kind of go together.”

Voss said the trail should connect through the Pleasant Hill and Cass County community possibly in the next year or two.

According to the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation, a economic impact study by Missouri State Parks reported in March that approximately 84 percent of all Katy Trail visitors are on bicycles.

The same study showed that the trail has a $18.6 million economic impact throughout the state.

Voss’ expertise was gained through several positions he held at Revolve, a non-profit bike shop, and Volker Bikes, both in Kansas City.

“It brings back the memories of childhood; the freedom that you have riding a bike – the exploring you can do – and the fresh air and excitement, makes you feel good,” said Voss, about his interest of bicycles as an adult. “I’ve become more interested in the precision of the bicycle machine. Although it is simple, there is some precision involved and I try to carry that over with every repair that I do – whether it’s an $80 bike, or an $800 bike.”

In coming months, Voss’ plans to introduce premium handcrafted Parisi coffee, espresso, teas and pastries at the shop. He also hopes to feature international coffee selections, as well.

“There is also an element of precision when brewing coffee,” Voss said. “Each bean has a certain potential which is often not realized when using home and most commercial brewers.”

Voss said his shop plans to use a pour over method of brewing which ensures that the water used for brewing is at the correct temperature and that the freshly ground coffee beans are soaked evenly so that their full potential is realized.

“Much care has been taken to grow and harvest the coffee beans that we will be using and so it’s up to us to deliver to the customer a hand-crafted cup of coffee which is the realization of the coffee bean’s full potential,” he said.

Voss also said he hopes his new shop will become a gathering place for individuals and families throughout Cass County.

“Many people said they were glad the shop is here and thought it should have been here many years ago so people don’t have to go as far to get their bike fixed,” he said.

With tables and chairs, free wi-fi internet, books and magazines, free pour over coffee, healthy snacks for sale, games, sidewalk chalk, and nostalgic bicycles for road enthusiasts, Voss hopes his shop is one the community can enjoy.

“I want it to be a fun place for families to hang out,” Voss said.

He also gives away used children’s bikes to individuals in need, and also plans to offer scheduled group rides and bicycle repair classes.

To keep up with the shop’s offerings, the business can be followed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NewTownBicyclesandCoffee and on Instagram.

The shop is open the following hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays; noon-7 p.m. Tuesdays; Closed Wednesdays; 10 a.m.-1 p.m.Thursdays; noon-7 p.m. Fridays; and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays.

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