“Rule #12: The correct number of bikes to own is n+1. While the minimum number of bikes one should own is three, the correct number is n+1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned. This equation may also be re-written as s-1, where s is the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your partner.”
-from The Rules - The Way of the Cycling Discipline by The Velominati
Meghan & Stew Mackie believe that n+1 also applies for coffee....
Even before they owned the bike shop, both were avid bikers. Traveling to and competing in bike races around the country was something they did often. And every city they went to, they would always stop by the local bike shops. “We especially loved the ones where people were putting in espresso bars, it’s a really cool concept,” explained Meghan.
They were also inspired by the Rapha Clubhouses found in major cities around the world. They are part bike shop, part cafe serving only the best of the best. They also organize rides and hold cycling events.
“When we first bought the The Bike Shop of Winter Haven and moved it, we knew we wanted to put in a coffee bar,” she explained. In February of 2018, they opened N+1 right in the middle of the bike shop. It had a bar, five stools, an espresso machine and tons of passion. Only open a few days a week, the little coffee bar was successful. Using Ethos Coffee, roasted locally in Lakeland by Lisbeth Pacheco-Rios, they created the best tasting cup of coffee in town.
When the corner space next the the bike shop became available, they jumped on it. “Having a separate entrance meant we could open up earlier for the coffee shop and later for the bike shop. We didn’t want to open a full cafe. We just wanted to open a coffee shop where people could get a really good cup of coffee and a really good snack.” That’s where Born & Bread from Lakeland comes into the picture. N+1 is the only place outside of B & B, where you can buy a croissant. Or a biscuit. Or a scone. Before this, you could only get them on Saturday mornings usually after waiting in line. Now, you can literally go to the coffee shop any day of the week and pick something up. As Meghan was talking about this, you could tell she was understandably excited yet humbled by it. ”It felt like it wasn’t real. I couldn’t believe we were picking up pastries that next day.”
Stew & Meghan drove to lakeland to pick up the pastries for their soft opening on the first day and were sold out by the afternoon.
The interior of N+1 is beautiful. Inspired from her buying trips for m.marie, she would take tons of pictures of decor she loved. “I have to give credit to Charlie Schiller because she helped me organize it. I know what I like, but I’m not good at pulling it all together. She helped me place things, pick the tiles and paint colors to make it all work together.” There are bright green plants everywhere which makes it feel fresh inside. Warm wood is accented on an entire wall and on tables. There is a giant leather couch and chairs that you can lounge in. It’s modern and clean, definitely the kind of place where you want to hang out for a few hours. (And you can!) With all of those windows and sunshine pouring in, how can you not smile? There is nothing else like it in East Polk.
So, to keep this straight, Meghan and Stew own The Bike Shop of Winter Haven and a successful boutique in town called m.marie. And then they added the coffee shop to the mix. I wanted to know, how do they do it? That’s a lot to manage.
“Stew is at the bike shop, I work at m.marie. I also do more of the behind the scenes work like payroll, social media, keeping up with emails, the kind of stuff I can do sitting at a computer. I try to spend half my time here because this is my baby. I’ve been at the coffee shop a lot because it’s new.”
Meghan was pretty clear that they couldn’t do this without their staff. “We have a really great team at the bike shop, a really great team going at the coffee shop right now and I’ve had the same employee, Evelyn Perez helping me for 6 years at the boutique. Credit is due to our staff,” she said with a big smile. “Lisbeth from Ethos introduced us to Matt Schisler who now manages the coffee shop.” Meghan is able to step away a little thanks to the talents of Matt who now trains everyone.
“I feel like Stew and I are working all of the time, but in a good way. We love it. We work a bunch of hours at all of the businesses then we go home and talk about work.” Finding time away can be challenging but they really do love the life they’ve built in downtown Winter Haven.
I asked if they had plans for a fourth business. Before I even finished the sentence she gave me a pretty stern, “no.” She looked like she was thinking about the question a little more and again said, “no.”
There was a pause.
“Not right now,” she smiled.
251 3rd St SW, Winter Haven, FL 33880
Open Monday - Saturday 7am - 3pm
Open Sunday from 9am - 3pm