Summit Social House
Bruce Zigman is the entrepreneur behind another ‘first’ for Collingwood, “bringing insanely good coffee and a first class bike service with a fulltime bike mechanic to an ideally situated café setting.” April 10th, 2021 they opened at 246 Hurontario Street, serving the ever-growing clusters of cycling and outdoor enthusiasts in Collingwood and surrounding areas.
Born and raised in Montreal, Bruce spent most of his free time trying to get out of the city and into the mountains, frequenting ski resorts and bike trails to replenish his lungs with fresh air. With twenty years in and out of the bike industry, and growing up as a cyclist who raced as a teenager, bikes is Bruce’s first passion.
“My wife and I kept talking about moving out of the city, being somewhere smaller, quieter, with an active outdoor lifestyle that would foster our hobbies and activities culture .Kelli’s cottage was north of Collingwood and their drives to visit took them right through the town that would one day be a long term life destination. “As we drove through Collingwood one day, I mentioned the idea of moving there. We knew cycling was extremely popular, ski clubs and resorts just a short drive away, and it was right on the water. It was the right place for us. We decided to do it, it just made sense,” says Bruce.
That was three years ago and Bruce knew the business he’d start here needed to be related to his passion – bikes! A lot of brainstorming about what he could do to feed that passion, and stay in the industry led to an extensive education in coffee, Bruce’s other favourite hobby. “The owners of our Montreal roaster have an athletic cycling triathlon background, so we got along really well, and we understood each other.” Bruce also wanted to introduce some more unique coffee flavors to Collingwood, and paired up with Propeller Coffee from Toronto who have been recognized on the global coffee stage.
Six months before arriving in Collingwood, armed with online research about the extensive business support in Collingwood for entrepreneurs and his mind made up to introduce Collingwood’s first bike café, he reached out to the Business Development Centre. Within weeks of arrival, he had his first of many business consultations with Tim Newton of the Small Business Enterprise Centre. “Tim put my business on the right track, introduced me to other business owners, stayed in touch despite a year long delay finding the perfect location and securing the right lease…… Later, he walked me through my application for Starter Company Plus which comes with more support and training. It has been a fantastic and ongoing experience with the SBEC (Small Business Enterprise Centre).”
Summit Social House is equipped to do anything bike-related, on any type of bike. They can do the little things on the spot while you fuel up with great coffee and a bite to eat, or you can book your bike repair online and we can get it done same day or the next day. Says Bruce, “There’s no losing precious cycling time waiting for weeks on end to get your bike back”.
Looking to the Future
Summit Social House currently has two employees, their talented coffee barista and expert bike mechanic. “Alberto had already moved up to Collingwood from Toronto with his family, and applied when he saw my job posting. He is extremely qualified, extensively experienced, and it’s a great fit for us both.” says Bruce. Future plans include having a small fleet of bikes for both summer and winter cycling to rent out.
Another project is to do custom high end builds for people, so they would work with one or two very unique frame manufacturers. People would come in in the Fall and Summit Social would fit them and order their custom frame and then spend the whole winter selecting and purchasing parts for that bike, building it, sizing it and customizing it so when Spring comes, “it’s ready to ride and one-of-a-kind bike,” says Bruce.
With two young children, Bruce’s family enjoy hiking and snowshoeing in the winter months. “I live in the French Alps and I’m a big alpine skier. We try to make the most of being close to the mountains, taking in the fresh air and enjoying every snowy day.
Kelli is also a mountain biker, we’re getting into gravel biking and the kids are addicted to cycling too. We take advantage of the water and take them to the beach cool down on hot days.”
A new trend, perhaps a perfect blend, is Summit House Social – Coffee & Bikes in Collingwood. Check them out at www.summitsocialhouse.com
“A bicycle is my vehicle and coffee is my fuel. There is something special about bicycles and coffee, something that ties them together, and not just for the creative crowd.” – Honoré de Balzac
Photo Credits: Dave West Photography
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