I have several bicycles. My commuter is a 20 year old Trek mountain bike that I never liked as a mountain bike, but it has made a great commuter. I also have a sweet Kona cruiser with a red, white and blue paint job, a Kona full suspension mountain bike, another Trek, and an old, broken Paramount road frame. But the two bikes that mean the most to me, are a WTB steel Phoenix, built by Steve Potts, and a Fuso road bike built by Dave Moulton.
When I ride either of these bikes, I know that it was crafted by someone who understands that there is a bond between me, and the craftsman who welded the frame. I know that he also rides, and thus cares about the relationship between rider and machine. I enjoy riding my other bikes, but there is a difference that is hard to explain. It is simply a connection between me, the builder and the bike.
That feeling of connection can be found in other areas. During the summer months, we get what produce that we don't grow ourselves from Kilarney Farms. We know that not only is Paul's produce organic, but that it will always be great quality. When you sell to people that you may ride a ski lift with, or see at the local pub, you have to care about quality.
On Fridays, if I get off work in time, I try to stop by Doma Coffee Company on my ride home. It is not only a good group of people, but also a great cup of coffee. As soon as I walk in, someone always offers to fix me an americano. Trust me, the best cup of coffee you can get is in a roastary, made by someone who truly cares about how good that cup of coffee is. Nowhere is the coffee fresher, and nowhere is there a barista that has more invested in how good the coffee is. It is more than a product for these guys, it is a way of life.
I don't think that it is odd that the guys at Doma Coffee also appreciate hand built bikes, or that they also buy from Kilarney farms. We are part of a growing number of people that think that the demise of the craftsman, the small farmer, and so many cottage industries, is a sad loss for both the local community, but even more so, the global community.