Owners of Ottery St Mary business still driven by passion for bikes
- Credit: Archant
Family celebrates more than 40 years of trading in the town
The owners of a family business celebrating more than 40 years in Ottery say bikes are in their blood.
The father and son team behind Browns Motorcycles in Mill Street say the job is all they ever wanted to do – and with their passion for two wheels as strong as ever, the pair have no plans to hit the brakes anytime soon.
Graham Brown, 65, grew up tinkering with bikes at his parents’ Honiton-based business, Don Brown Motorcycles, and in 1975, aged 25, set out to open his own shop in Ottery.
More than four decades later, he still runs the business alongside his son Jarrod – who has passed his own love of bikes onto his children, eight-year-old Lexie and Corey, five.
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Reminiscing about starting out with a young baby and little capital, Graham said: “It was a big decision. It’s something that I have always loved.
“I started riding bikes when I was really young and I was always riding and repairing them. I went to college for five years and did engineering, but it didn’t really suit me. It was a good grounding for what I loved to do.
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“We have always sold and repaired bicycles and motor cycles. They have always done quite well together. We have sold bicycles to young kids and they have gone on to buy a scooter and then motor cycle from us.”
He explained his parents took on their Honiton business from a well-known motorcyclist and ran it for several years before a buyer made them ‘an offer they could not refuse’.
The new owner kept Graham on, but it was not long before he felt ready to branch out on his own and picked the Ottery shop because it ‘was the only suitable site I could afford’.
Graham and Jarrod thanked all of their loyal customers for the continued support over the years.
They said while spending habits may have changed, the basic love of bikes remains steadfast.
Other family members ‘muck in’ with the business, with Graham’s wife Sue playing an active role, his other son, Daniel, often dropping in to help out and daughter, Donna, on hand too.
Jarrod added that both of his children love coming down and playing with the bikes and helping out.
Spending much of his spare time in the shop and workshop as a child, Jarrod said he only ever wanted to come and work there too, but his dad made him go to college and get a proper apprenticeship qualification first.
Jarrod, 40, said: “I have always loved bicycles and then I got into motor cycles. I left school and wanted to start here straight away - it’s all I have wanted to do.”