Google Economic Impact Report

Google Economic Impact Report

Few industries have more passionate devotees than artisanal coffee and hand-built bicycles. Individually, they conjure images of a vibrant and modern urban community. Together, they're the magic of Chicago's Heritage Bicycles. Founded by Michael Salvatore in 2011, Heritage combines Chicago's rich and proud manufacturing industry with a hip and contemporary gathering space for lovers of brewed beans. “Both bikes and coffee have very loyal customer bases, and we've been able to capitalize on both in Chicago,” Michael says. Long before becoming an international brand, Heritage knew the Internet would be the tool to help them gear up. “The Internet has always been the foundation of the business.”

Michael leverages a variety of Google tools to make the most of the web. He creates geo-targeted campaigns in AdWords, Google’s advertising program, to drive local traffic to their two brick-and-mortar stores. He expands his reach with global AdWords campaigns to promote e-commerce sales of bikes and accessories. Google Apps for Work facilitates instantaneous collaboration amongst employees and is easy to scale as the business grows. Google Street View takes customers on virtual 360-degree tours of their stores. Google Analytics helps Michael to better understand his customers and make timely, data-driven decisions. “Google Analytics is literally on my screen all day long. Those graphs and trends and real-time data help me determine where to put our energy.” And their results have been a small-business tour de force.

Sales have grown a steady 35% year-over-year and Heritage plans to open three more stores in Chicago in 2016. Michael believes Google has played a significant role in their success. “There are so many little things that these products help us with every day,” he says. “I don’t know that we’d be in the same place without Google.” Their hand-built bicycles may have earned them an international reputation as a mecca for discerning cyclists, but Michael is equally proud of the impact that he’s making closer to home. “We currently have 23 employees, and we'll soon have close to 40,” he says. “It means a lot to me that we’re creating jobs in Chicago.”

May 25, 2016 by Michael Salvatore
Enjoy Illinois - Tourism Spotlight

Enjoy Illinois - Tourism Spotlight

Fully-customized, American-made with American steel, hand-welded Heritage bikes are the talk of the town—and the toast of the neighborhood. 

If you had asked fifth-generation Chicagoan Mike Salvatore what he wanted to do when he grew up, creating a handmade bicycle shop paired with a custom-roasted coffee emporium probably wouldn’t have made the top of his list—a notch below firefighter. But the best-laid plans sometimes have to take a backseat to an original idea that’s simply too good not to create. Heritage Bicycles on Chicago’s Northside is just such a creation. If you think this is just another run-of-the-mill bike store, you don’t know what happens when American steel is forged in the aroma of freshly roasted Arabica beans.

Today, Mike’s fully-customized, hand-welded bikes are the toast of Chicago’s hippest neighborhoods. Staying true to Mike’s keep-it-in-the-hood mindset, he and his wife, Melissa, pair hand-crafted, made-to-order bikes with coffee making craftsmanship. Both made fresh daily.

Heritage is a mecca of what’s cool, where the cyclist, the artisan, the techie entrepreneur and the occasional beat poet meet over cups of Mike’s freshly roasted coffee. It’s that classic proud to be American-made storefront, transformed into an urban oasis for coffee aficionados and everyone in the neighborhood who just stops by to work and hang out.

May 20, 2016 by Michael Salvatore
Entrepreneur Magazine: How Coffee and Bicycles Created a Brand That Even Beyonce Loves

Entrepreneur Magazine: How Coffee and Bicycles Created a Brand That Even Beyonce Loves

Entrepreneur Network partner, Cq Revolution presents Mike Salvatore, owner of Heritage Bicycles, sharing lessons he learned by creating a brand people love. The Chicago entrepreneur admits he doesn’t have it all figured about but with customers like Beyonce, Jay-Z and Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter, it’s clear he’s doing something right.

March 29, 2016 by Michael Salvatore
Made In Chicago

Made In Chicago

WBBM 780’s Steve Miller

play

(CBS) — When you walk in Heritage Bicycles on Lincoln near Wellington, you smell coffee.

“We’re taking two things with the concept of the shop, with it being bicycles and coffee,” said Alan Gagne, the general manager. “It’s a warm environment to come sit down and have a conversation with the person who’s really going to build your bike.”

Gagne has been with Heritage for four years, from day one.

“Seeing bikes and coffee in the window – two things I was definitely interested in – turned me on to the idea and I left my paralegal job to take a dive into something a little bit more entrepreneurial and community-involved,” he said.

Gagne says all the bikes are built on Lincoln Avenue right behind the coffee shop.

“Our typical customer, in all sincerity, is a first-time-in-a-long-time rider,” he said. “Someone who had a bike and remembers the joys of riding in college, riding in high school in their youth.

“Now they’ve moved to the city and have a little bit of disposable income, and instead of buying twice than can buy something nice that’ll be an heirloom that can be passed down through the family.”

Bikes start at $799. The average bike is about a thousand dollars.

They’ve built a few specialty bikes.

“A bike with a blender on the back for a farmer’s market.”

Gagne prefers to commute on his bike – and doesn’t remember his days commuting on the train with much fondness.

“I feel caged. I can’t stop and pull off and stop at the park or go run errands. I’m trapped in that train car next to someone who I may not want to sit by.

“A bike is the ultimate freedom.”

February 22, 2016 by Michael Salvatore
Soigneur - Our Favorite Bicycle Spots In The World

Soigneur - Our Favorite Bicycle Spots In The World

The world is best discovered on a bike — whether you’re at home or on the other side of the planet. When we’re travelling, we love finding new shops, cafés, and bars that revolve around cycling. We proudly present to you, in random order, our collection of the best cycling spots on the globe — the 2016 edition.

Heritage General Store — it’s not a name you would immediately associate with cycling. But once you’re in the front door, it all becomes clear: this is one heck of a bike shop. Fixing a flat and getting a cup of coffee will cost you ten dollars. With Google’s help, you can even explore the interior when you visit their website. heritagebicycles.com

Orignal Article

December 04, 2015 by Michael Salvatore
Playboy: The New Royals

Playboy: The New Royals

Owner of Chicago-based Heritage Bicycles, Michael Salvatore, finds his creative spark from vintage handmade designs. A true entrepreneur, Salvatore has grown the Heritage brand into several spin-offs—all with high-quality products at the core. “From the long-lasting quality product to what you as a consumer are giving back to your country and the local economy,” he says. “It is something any customer should be proud of.”

Original Article

November 26, 2015 by Michael Salvatore
Crain's: 40 Under 40 - Michael Salvatore

Crain's: 40 Under 40 - Michael Salvatore

34 | Founder | Heritage Bicycles, Heritage Branded | Chicago

Michael Salvatore began building a small empire in 2011 when he opened Heritage Bicycles General Store, a mashup of two of the hottest trends around: bikes and coffee. Soon, a coffee-only shop in Uptown followed. As a speaker at an international coffee conference in Brazil, the Edgewater native recently explained why the bikes-coffee combo is so magical. Both bikes and coffee have geeks, fans and regular folk who love them; they are "universal languages;" and they are complementary endeavors—bikes are big business in warmer months, and coffee sales spike when it's cold.

But the unique business model works, too, because of the guy behind it. A classic microinfluencer and early adopter who seemingly knows everyone (and everyone knows him), Salvatore has 15,000 followers on Instagram and 12,000 on Facebook. "He's a pioneer in Chicago's maker movement—part passion, part builder, part inspiration," says Tereasa Surratt, a pal who's global group creative director at Ogilvy & Mather in Chicago. "He really knows brand building. Heritage is a rad example of what passion, talent and sheer drive can become."

Salvatore, meanwhile, has started to ink bigger deals with corporations, such as a 60-bike order from a Colorado company he declines to name. He's also looking for outside funding—he says there's been interest—so he can ramp up production. And this fall, he launched a creative agency, Heritage Branded, where three full-time employees do graphic design, logos, copywriting and the like in an office above the Lakeview general store. The Heritage Branded office was, until recently, the home Salvatore shared with his wife, Melissa, and their two children. Across all of his businesses, Salvatore estimates he will draw $1.5 million in revenue in 2015 and upward of $2 million next year.

—Jan Parr | Photos and video by Stephen J. Serio

Bonus Points

In his spare time: He's working on the “Uncle John Project” on Instagram. It’s a catalog of photographs by his great uncle, an avid photographer from the 1920s to 1960s. Salvatore found negatives squirreled away in the basement of a family home.

Up next: Opening three more coffee shops and a bar in Chicago.

Current obsession: The Netflix show “Narcos.”

 

Original Article

November 25, 2015 by Michael Salvatore
The GQ 100: The Best Specialty Shops in America

The GQ 100: The Best Specialty Shops in America

They say you can judge a man’s style by his dress shoes. We’d argue the same goes for his hat, his specs, and the way he smells, too. Here, we present the top houses of accessories, finishing touches, and smell-goods, where the staff of experts knows every little thing about all the little things. Go in and nerd out with them if you like—or simply trust what they tell you and know that you’re killin’ it.

There is a massive painted sign on the brick wall outside of Chicago’s Heritage Bicycles that reads “Bikes & Coffee.” And quite honestly, we couldn’t describe the shop better than that. Where else, really, can you get a flat white while your flat tire gets fixed? In the front you’ll find coffee, and in the back you'll find everything you could want to make your ride better. Helmets, locks, even bags for your entire haul that won’t get in the way. Plus you can buy—or just ogle—any of the shop’s impressive built-in-Chicago bikes. Started by local guy Mike Salvatore and his wife, Melissa, the shop's coupling of coffee culture and bike culture has turned it into the type of place you wish were on every corner in your hometown. It’s bright, inviting, and full of people who look to be industrious on their laptops—without any of the ones who want to tell you about it. It’s the vibe—undeniably welcoming and refreshingly unhurried—that keeps us coming back every time we swing by the Windy City.—John Jannuzzi

November 22, 2015 by Michael Salvatore
Food & Wine: Beyond Great Coffee: America's Best Cafe Shopping Experiences

Food & Wine: Beyond Great Coffee: America's Best Cafe Shopping Experiences

Amazing coffee is enough reason to park it all day at a cool café. But combine that café with a hip boutique and you've got something special. Here are some of the best spots in the nation to sip and shop in style. 

Heritage Bicycles, Chicago: This beloved, well-received Chicago spot triples as a general store for cycling gear (like Yakkay helmets and ponchos), a bike shop with handcrafted brands like Upright Cyclist, Brooks, and Levin Commuter and a place to get your caffeine and sugar fix via Heritage Brew, pastries from Southport Grocery and Cafe, and delicious Mast Brothers chocolate.

July 07, 2015 by Michael Salvatore
Sprudge: Coffee And Bikes In Chicago At Heritage Bicycles

Sprudge: Coffee And Bikes In Chicago At Heritage Bicycles

heritage bicycles coffee chicago sprudge

Depending on whom you ask, it may seem odd for a business with bicycles in its name to be known for their craft coffee. Or, really, it might just make perfect sense. In 2012, after a stint establishing a hand-crafted bicycle company in Queens, New York, fifth-generation-Chicagoan Michael Salvatore moved back to his roots and became one half of the Heritage Family Company. Michael and his wife, Melissa, have opened three shops in Chicago, two of them focused on coffee and bikes: Heritage General Store and Heritage Outpost. The third, Heritage Littles, is an adorable children’s-goods business, and home to Melissa’s family photo studio.

Their flagship space is the General Store, located in the Lakeview neighborhood on Chicago’s affluent North Side. A chance drive down Lincoln Avenue brought the boarded-up and for-rent building to Michael’s attention. Peering through a gap in the window he swooned over the wooden floors, crown molding, and exposed beams of the building, built in 1901. The initial costs covered by bikes, Heritage rented out the retail ground floor, and its basement, establishing their first brick-and-mortar.

heritage bicycles coffee chicago sprudge

heritage bicycles coffee chicago sprudge

A family-oriented and underserved part of town, Lakeview wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice for Heritage. But traditional areas like Bucktown, Wicker Park, and even Southport Corridor are saturated, and the stretch of land south of Belmont, where Heritage settled, had been lacking a community space. Even now, take out Heritage General Store and there would be only one local coffee (and tea) shop in the square mile centered on its current location. Add in the big chains and you’ll still only have three shops within that area.

Heritage’s community-first thinking finds physical representation in the large reclaimed-wood tables, built by hand by the Salvatores. Between those, the banquette corners, and along-the-wall bar stools, patrons are meant to get close and spark conversation. General Store manages to feel airy, open, theatrically lit, and spacious, all while having an exposed bike shop plus nick-nacks like family heirlooms, gramophones, pendant theater lights, and an Underwood Typewriter in every nook.

heritage bicycles coffee chicago sprudge

Here they treat both coffee and bikes with passion and care, but as wholly separate entities. Says Michael, “It’s a delicate dance, for both sides on their own.” In other words, don’t expect the mechanic to be making your macchiato, but feel free to look forward to plenty of local sourcing and strong relationships. After all, Heritage Bicycles was the first to start manufacturing bikes within the Chicago city limits since Schwinn shut its doors in 1982.

In that same spirit, Heritage has paired up with Intelligentsia to create their premier roasts while testing the Heritage brand. Staple foods are provided by Southport Grocery, such as blueberry-cornbread muffins and an array of quiches. Behind the large polished bar, you’ll hear theMazzer grinder whirring and humming, and see a sharp-looking brand new La Marzocco Linea PB espresso machine. They’ve employed a Bunn Coffee Grinder, FETCO Extractor brewer, andZojirushi Air Pots for their batch-brew filter coffee surface, buttressed by a Hario-enabled slow bar with rotating offerings. Completing their portfolio is a cold-brewed coffee service, with custom-built brewing barrels and kegerators in their basement.

heritage bicycles coffee chicago sprudge

And this is just the General Store. Located in Uptown, Chicago, is the Heritage Outpost. It’s a new venture, funded by its symbiotic relationship as the front lobby for the No. 1325 Wilson apartments, owned by Flats Chicago. Having just opened last November, the Outpost sets to explore the purely coffee side of Heritage, with cuppings and events held regularly. As Michael Salvatore tells me, “That space is just beginning to create itself.”

heritage bicycles coffee chicago sprudge

Heritage co-founder Michael Salvatore.

You could say the same for the Heritage brand, with expansion plans on the horizon for a shop in Nashville later this year. Whether you’re riding in on one of Heritage’s custom-built bikes for two or a dumpy old Schwinn, Heritage has created an approachable and bright environment with roots in both crafts, and without pretension.

Original Article

March 03, 2015 by Michael Salvatore