Goodale’s the Great
If Goodale’s most recent owner Bradford Hill put a dollar in the swear jar every time he said the f word, he could have retired a long time ago. But he probably would have just used the money to open more bike shops.
Goodale’s bike shop was founded 101 years ago, when Walt M. Goodale opened his first location in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Walt’s son Roscoe eventually took over the family business, and in 1966, he took a chance on a 12-year-old boy who was walking past the shop on his way home from school—offering him a job at Goodale’s starting that Saturday.
That young man was Brad Hill, the 6’3” most recent owner of Goodale’s, with a legacy even greater than his towering frame.
Brad had worked at the shop for about five years when Roscoe decided to retire. A natural salesman, Brad convinced his parents to invest in the shop, and the 16-year-old got to work turning Goodale’s into the well-renowned retailer it is today.
Brad quit high school, took up a second full-time job to cover costs, and slowly transformed the small shop and nine bikes he started with into three thriving locations in Nashua, Hooksett, and Concord.
Over the years, Brad has become a legend in the world of independent bike retailers, known for his considerable height, red suspenders, and—of course—his affinity for the f word.
It wasn’t long before John and Dick Burke took notice of this lofty entrepreneur. Brad’s shops were located in a relatively small city, but they were pushing huge volumes.
The Burkes flew Brad out to Trek HQ in Waterloo, WI, and their relationship began. Over the years, Brad has been an integral part of countless conversations, offering advice and input on Trek’s own retail locations and the cycling industry as a whole.
So it only made sense that, when it came time for Brad to hand over the keys, he’d turn to the Burkes to carry on his legacy.
“I’m the second owner in 101 years, and I think the Burke family is gonna have it for the next 101,” Brad says about Trek’s acquisition of Goodale’s.
Brad trusts that Trek’s commitment to exceptional customer service will aid in upholding the pillars that led to Goodale’s reputation as one of the biggest and best bike shops around.
“Retail is not for wimps,” Brad says. “But there’s retail, and then there’s Brad’s way.”
And Brad’s way is what made Goodale’s so great in the first place. His business model relies on prioritizing fun, treating every customer fairly and equally, and getting every person who walks in the door on the right bike, with the right fit, right now.
“I wanna sell fun. I wanna sell enjoyment,” Brad says of his primary ambition.
Brad signed Goodale’s over to Trek exactly 49 years after he convinced his parents to purchase the shop, and he’s confident the brand will take good care of the three generations of customers he’s gotten to know like family.
And although we’re not as eager to say the f word, we swear we’ll make him proud.
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