Gerick Cycle and Ski doesn’t just sell sporting goods, it actively encourages Nelson residents to embrace an active, outdoor lifestyle.
This past Friday, the 23-year-old Baker Street shop was honoured by the Nelson Chamber of Commerce for retail excellence among businesses with under 40 employees.
Ross McNamara bought the shop in 1993 off its first original owner Gerald Klassen (who named it using the first part of his and his brother Richard’s names, “Ger” and “Rick”). After two decades at the helm, McNamara was elated to receive the award from the Chamber.
“It was a really, really great honour,” he said.
Being an independently owned retail store, Gerick is eager to sponsor several local races, including the Cyswog ‘n’ Fun triathlon, Kootenay Team Pursuit cycling race at Bombi Pass, some of the cycling club’s Toonie Races, and the Summit Cup ski/snowboard race at Whitewater. They also contribute to the Kootenay Fat Tire Festival and several other sport-related events.
“If we’re going to be a part of the community, it’s very important for us to be involved in facilitating these types of things,” McNamara explained. “For the community to have loyalty to a specific shop, you have to earn that.”
The store employs 10 people, many of whom have worked at the store for five or ten years and in some cases longer. McNamara said he and his staff work at Gerick because they are cyclists and skiers themselves and have a passion for the industry.
“Our job, more than anything, is to inspire people to get out and enjoy the downhill skiing and cross country skiing and road or mountain biking opportunities that are so much a part of living in the Kootenays.”