As Springfield has changed and evolved, Sunshine Bike Shop (1926 E. Sunshine St., Springfield) has remained a constant. It has undergone ownership changes, but with each of those regimes, there’s been longevity.
Kay Meeker ran the shop from almost the turn of the century and had long decided she was going to work until she didn’t want to work. When that time came, the transition over to Joshua Even—who had been the general manager of the shop for 11 years—was sudden and finite.
Meeker’s emotional pull from parting with the shop in addition to figuring out a long-term solution and specific numbers complicated the deal, but the two parties worked things out.
“I went from being concerned about my future to owning a shop within 48 hours,” says Even, who purchased the shop from Meeker along with his wife, Micah.
For Even, the most important lesson has been learning not to do too much too fast. That he was already so familiar with the shop and had an understanding of the day-to-day affairs made a discernible impact, but he admits it also made him a bit overeager.
There are certain responsibilities an owner has that a general manager does not—finances, writing checks, being the face of a business. “In a lot of ways, I have to be respectful to my staff because I would just bounce things off them that I was worried about,” Even says. “And they’d be like, ‘Hey man, you’ve been here before, you’ve done this before.’ I had a lot of support from them to be successful. I think everybody was really happy to see the change come.”