Venture North Bike Walk Center

The fundamental and critical purpose of Venture North Bike Walk Center and Basset Creek Bike Works is to create the opportunity in North Minneapolis for community economic development through jobs and job training in bike shop retail and mechanics. Venture North Bike Walk Center serves children, families and adults who reside in or visit our community by providing biking and walking retail services together with other activity-based educational offerings that will enhance the health and wellbeing of those who are drawn to our center.
Sep 4, 2013

Venture North's Young Leaders Going New Places

Final Earn-A-Bike cohort of the summer!
Final Earn-A-Bike cohort of the summer!

Dear Friends of Venture North Bike Walk & Coffee,

We hope you’ve been enjoying an active summer like we’ve been! Here at Venture North, programming continues to grow and make a difference in the lives of our young North Minneapolis neighbors. We were even featured in the Twin Cities Daily Planet!

Here are some of the highlights of our development over the summer:

  • Earn-A-Bike Program: Venture North continued the popular Earn-A-Bike class, graduating seven students last week, and eleven more in two earlier summer sessions. By attending courses, students learn about bike repair and maintenance in addition to earning a free bike in the process. Students in this session also received free locks and helmets. Another notable fact: the course was facilitated again by Lucas, a previous graduate of All About Bikes. We’re thankful that Lucas is strengthening his mechanic skills and providing cascading mentoring to our new students. 

  • Pedal Power Girls Group: Thanks to a generous grant from the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, Pedal Power had a successful second summer session. Pedal Power is a program that empowers middle school girls to take leadership in careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Activities included field trips and activities with women in the science field along with activities to work on self esteem and empowerment. The program was five weeks on Saturday mornings.  Some of last summer’s awesome Pedal Power graduates returned to serve as leaders in planning this year's program. We are excited to continue these conversations and opportunities with young women throughout the year.

  • Coffee Bar and Bike Mechanic Apprentices Growing Into Leadership: One of the high school students from the Trade Skills Academy at MTS (Minnesota Transitions Charter School) that we trained in bike repair in a month-long seminar this spring has continued to apprentice at Venture North and mentor young people in the Earn-A-Bike program. A new coffee bar apprentice has graduated high school and will be staying on three days a week this fall to teach new barista apprentices, learn bike mechanics, and be supported to enroll in college through our non-profit sponsor’s Northside Leadership Project. Two bike mechanic apprentices are going back to high school this fall after completing the summer All About Bikes program. All of these apprentices help us bring in and develop new youth leaders in North Minneapolis. 

As fall rolls around and the warm weather bike season comes to a close, join us for delicious warm beverages, friendly neighborhood service and off-season sales that continue to support our youth programs. We’re planning a big bike donation drive on September 29th that will provide the bikes needed to train our newest mechanics in the upcoming winter session of our All About Bikes youth bike mechanic training program. These youth powered bikes will be sold to continue supporting youth empowerment and healthy living in North Minneapolis. Contact Dan Perucco at communications@redeemercenter.org if you’d like to see how your faith community or organization can compete to donate the most bikes this fall! 

We look forward to being able to raise enough funds to offer stipends to young students who need to earn money for their families and education while gaining valuable employment and leadership skills at Venture North. Whether you’ve stopped by for a cup of coffee, donated online, purchased a bike, donated an old bike, or mentioned us to a friend – thank you! All of these things, big and small, help Venture North survive so that we can continue empowering local youth and working towards a healthier, happier neighborhood.

Ride on!

Venture North Bike Walk & Coffee

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Jul 25, 2013

Summer Fun in the Redeemer Community

Campers make a healthy snack
Campers make a healthy snack

Dear Friends of Redeemer Center for Life, 

We're enjoying a beautiful, fun-filled summer in the Harrison Neighborhood! Thank you for taking the time to catch up with us. Over the past few months, Redeemer Center for Life (RCFL) has worked in partnership with Redeemer Lutheran Church and Venture North Bike & Coffee Shop to create some great youth opportunities. Here are some highlights from our most recent adventures:

  • Crunch, Zip, Zoom Summer Camp: Campers and staff had a blast as we tended the Redeemer Urban Garden, learned to make healthy meals, played games, shared stories, rode bikes, went on field trips to Theodore Wirth Park, and strengthened new friendships. With the help of our awesome youth interns, campers also participated in specialized sessions including arts and crafts, music, and basketball. 
  • Weekly Cookouts: Summertime means cookout season in the backyard of Redeemer Lutheran Church. Every Wednesday evening, friends and neighbors gather to share a meal. Crunch, Zip, Zoom campers join the fun by preparing a dish with fresh garden produce. 

This has been a time of growth and renewal in our community. As we've watched our garden thrive, we've also had the privilege of watching young people grow their talents and uncover new strengths. In supporting RCFL, you have been an integral part of making this possible. Thank you. With your help, we can continue empowering and inspiring local youth. 

Fun at Crunch, Zip, Zoom Summer Camp
Fun at Crunch, Zip, Zoom Summer Camp
Jun 6, 2013

Gearing Up for Bike Weather at Venture North

Making a bike-powered smoothie
Making a bike-powered smoothie

Dear Friends of Venture North Bike & Coffee Shop, 

Slowly but surely, we're saying goodbye to winter and hello to another season of great biking weather! Thanks for taking the time to catch up with us. This spring, we're excited to help new bikers get ready to hit the road. No matter your age or skill level, Venture North can help you get the gear and knowledge you need to be safe and have fun on your bike. Come by anytime during our extended summer hours: Tuesday through Thursday 11am - 7pm and Saturday 10am - 6pm (closed Sunday and Monday).

Over the past few months, we've been busy getting to know our neighbors, forging new partnerships, and continuing our youth empowerment programs. Here are some highlights from Venture North’s most recent adventures:

  • Harrison Hang-Out: In May, the Harrison Neighborhood celebrated biking and health at the first Harrison Hang-Out. The free event represented a collaboration between Venture North and the Harrison Healthy Living Hub, a coalition of local organizations and residents interested in promoting health in our community. Funded by a grant from the City of Minneapolis Health Department, the Healthy Living Hub seeks to better understand the health disparities in our neighborhood, connect residents with health resources, and advocate for better health opportunities in North Minneapolis. The Harrison Hang-Out included booths from local organizations, live music, Zumba, face-painting, free food, an interactive BMX demo, raffles, games, and even a Bike Blender serving up fresh, bike-powered smoothies. It was a blast! We are so thankful for the support and participation of local organizations, businesses, volunteers, staff, and community members. 
  • Trade Skills Academy Bike Repair Seminar: We had a great time working with high school students from the Trade Skills Academy at MTS (Minnesota Transitions Charter School). Students worked with Venture North staff to complete a month-long bike mechanics seminar where they learned the basics of bike repair, maintenance, and built their own bikes from new and used parts.Two students from the seminar hope to pursue future internships at Venture North in the All About Bikes mechanic apprenticeship program. We look forward to continuing this great partnership!
  • New Coffee Bar Apprentices: Venture North welcomed three new youth apprentices to the Coffee Bar. Our apprentices are learning the barista trade while developing their skills in customer service, business, and professionalism. They bring great attitudes plus excellent leadership experience from past work with youth programs at Redeemer Lutheran Church. Come by to say hello and try out an iced coffee drink!
  • Pedal Power Girls Group: Thanks to a generous grant from the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, Pedal Power is back for another summer session! Pedal Power is a girl-led program that empowers middle school girls to take leadership in STEM subjects. Activities include fun field trips, classes, inspiring guest speakers, and community building in a positive, encouraging setting. Some of last summer’s awesome Pedal Power graduates are returning this session to serve as mentors. With their leadership, we think that this will be the best summer yet! 

We're looking forward to a busy summer of programs and classes, and we hope you can join us. Thank you for supporting Venture North Bike & Coffee Shop. With your help, we can continue empowering local youth and working towards a healthier, happier neighborhood. Ride on!

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