On the surface, One Bike Coffee might look like any other coffee shop.
Located at Hamilton Place on Moores Mill Road, it’s filled with students on their laptops or poring over textbooks. Baristas churn out espresso drinks and deliver hot paninis and baked goods to customers. A basket of reading material sits in a nook with a coffee table and couch.
But beneath the coffee shop scene, One Bike owners Jack and Amy Fisher are doing so much more than running a business.
“Our mission is very simple. It’s to provide a great product in a welcoming environment,” Jack Fisher said. “But our purpose is greater than that. Our purpose is to give back to the community and support people with MS.”
The Fishers designate the greater of 50 percent of the shop’s profits, or 2 percent of sales, each month for their One Bike Foundation. The ultimate goal of the 501c(3) is to provide bicycles for Alabamians who have multiple sclerosis.
“We won’t just buy somebody a bike,” Amy Fisher said. “We’ll get them shoes and a helmet, so that they have everything they need. We want them to have a good bike, because we want it to last and be something they enjoy.”
The cost for providing a bicycle and equipment for each person will average between $1,500 and $2,000, she added. Danny and Amanda James at James Bros. Bikes agreed last week to partner with the Fishers in providing the bicycles to applicants. James Bros. has locations in Opelika and Auburn.
“It’s not just two-wheeled bikes,” said Jack Fisher, who competes in Iron Man races and was diagnosed with MS three years ago. “For some people with MS, balance is an issue. If they have to get a recumbent bike or a three-wheeled bike, that’s what we’ll do.”
One Bike’s goal is to first provide a bike for every Lee County resident with MS, then to expand that service throughout the state.
While half of the business’ profits are earmarked for the One Bike Foundation, the other 50 percent of profits goes to a different local ministry or nonprofit each month.
“We want to give 100 percent of our profit back to the community,” Jack Fisher said.
After meeting a group of friends in Texas who give bicycles to people with MS in the Lone Star State, the Fishers wanted to do something similar in Alabama, but didn’t know how to start.
“We were just trying to figure out how to do this,” Amy Fisher said. “We had kind of talked about, ‘Should we do a barbecue like they do? What can we do?'”
The heart of the county
This past summer, a door opened – a coffee shop door.
“We know the couple who owned the coffee shop that was here before, Toomer’s,” Jack Fisher said. “They go to church with us. We knew they were in the process of opening Ross House Coffee, so we had a conversation and I said, ‘What would it look like if we were to buy it from you?’ So we talked about it and talked to the kids, and decided we wanted to take this plunge as a family.”
Three of the Fishers’ five children are baristas at the coffee shop.
“I think because of the heart of the community here, everybody’s very friendly and want to help other people,” Amy Fisher said. “We had one man who just walked in, gave us $20, and said, ‘Put this in the bike fund.’ It’s encouraging for us.
“We know to do the mission well is what will drive the funding for what we’re trying to do, as well as the heart of the people in the Lee County area who say, ‘That’s something I would like to be a part of or give to.'”
By: Kara Coleman
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