Joy Machines Bike Shop

Joy Machines Bike Shop

Spain, New York, Oregon—Alex Nosse and Renato Pereira-Castillo have lived all over. But when these young entrepreneurs were ready to start their own business, they chose to return to their roots—Cleveland, Ohio. The result is Joy Machines Bike Shop in the Ohio City neighborhood, a community-focused business that caters to anyone interested in making cycling part of his or her daily routine. And after opening just ten months ago, these two Urban Community School graduates are experiencing success in their business and are glad to be giving back to the area that gave so much to them.

Alex and Renato first met as students at Urban, with each arriving under decidedly different circumstances. Alex grew up on W. 45th as part of what one could call an All-Urban family—he was the second of three children who all attended Urban, and his mother also taught at the school during its inaugural year. Alex loved the social and academic aspects at Urban and “never woke up saying I didn’t want to go to school.” Renato immigrated to the United States at age six, not speaking a word of English. He still has a vivid memory of his first day recess, unable to understand another student inviting him to play tag. But Urban helped Renato bridge the gap, and he was soon the one inviting others to join him on the playground.

Though they took separate paths to Urban’s front door, Alex and Renato know that their classes, classmates, and teachers at Urban changed their lives. Alex explained how Urban “opened our minds up at an early age to what a lot of people don’t think about until college, if at all.” Both felt that Urban was a place that treated students as young adults rather than children. They were challenged with complex ideas in classrooms filled with teachers who value diversity in both people and ideas.

Both Renato and Alex developed a strong sense of community while attending Urban and then nearby St. Ignatius High School. This education led them to combine their love of bicycles with a desire to serve their community. With these lessons in mind, the idea for Joy Machines Bike Shop was born. When looking for retail space, Alex and Renato limited their search to “a 2 mile radius around West 25th street,” the only community they wanted to serve.

Joy Machines operates as a “community oriented startup bike shop” serving Cleveland’s near West side. For Alex and Renato, their shop hearkens back to “an older model of business that goes back to the idea of Main Street […] you have a connection to the people that you rely on.” For the owners of Joy Machines it is more than just a business relationship with their customers, Alex explains, “we feel a responsibility for them, their bikes, and their safety. How will our decisions affect the community and benefit the business and those that live around us.”

With the one-year anniversary of their opening coming up this summer, Alex and Renato’s business is thriving. Joy Machines recently made Cleveland Magazine’s “Best of Cleveland” list, and its owners are looking forward to making their Cleveland location home for years to come. By serving a “tight knit” group of cyclists from “all backgrounds,” Alex and Renato hope to encourage all bikers, be they young or old, recreational or competitive, commuter or weekend warrior, or whoever is willing to get out and experience the joy of riding. Their hope is to help cycling become an increasingly viable and even admirable form of transportation in Cleveland. Alex and Renato also encourage Urban students to stop in to the shop, and make a special effort to help them start a lifelong love of cycling. They realize that without the passionate teachers, lifelong friends, and spirit of community they enjoyed at Urban, Joy Machines may never have happened.