Keystone's social enterprises, Express Bike and History Tours, provide revenue to support our youth and senior programs.
Unique Business Model Supports Keystone's Youth and Senior Programs
Keystone’s social enterprises include the Express Bike Shop and Keystone’s History Tours. By being a customer at the bike shop or participating in a tour, you are providing financial support that goes directly back into Keystone’s youth and senior programs.
What is a social enterprise?
Keystone is a member of the Social Enterprise Alliance who defines a social enterprise as “organizations that address a basic unmet need or solve a social problem through a market-drive approach.”
For Keystone, our social enterprises have allowed us to integrate an entrepreneurial spirit into our organization and to offer our community services and programs it needs. In turn, these entrepreneurial ventures generate revenue for our programs and supplement to our other funding sources.
Keystone History Tours
Keystone’s History Tours Program is designed for sightseeing adventurists and history buffs. Keystone staff design and lead the tours. Tours are presented by David Bredemus, Keystone’s Historian and Tour Guide. Dave specializes in local, regional and international tours based on history, culture and geography. Through this program, we are pleased and excited to present you with fun, informative, adventurous and educational excursions.
Proceeds from the History Tours program are used to support Keystone’s Senior program. Your participation in a tour helps seniors stay connected to their community.
Express Bike Shop
The Express Bike Shop opened in an abandoned gas station in 1995. The shop was created by youth who had participated in programming offered by Youth Express and who wanted a job, but were having a hard time getting one. The idea came to the teens because St. Paul Police had a large collection of unclaimed bicycles that they thought could be used instead of taking them to the scrap yard. And thus, the Express Bike Shop was created.
The Express Bike Shop is a used bike shop that turns donated bikes and bike parts into working bicycles. Young people work in the shop for 6-month apprenticeships. During this time, youth apprentices are trained in bike mechanic skills. Youth are also trained in the skills of running a small business – marketing, sales, teamwork, etc.
20+ Years Old and Still Growing
The shop outgrew its original location, so after a successful capital campaign, Express Bike Shop moved to its current location on Selby Avenue in 2007. Express Bike Shop has collected and refurbished, re-purposed or recycled over 30,000 bicycles. Over 6,000 customers each year choose Express Bike Shop for their bicycle needs. And 500 young people have completed a paid apprenticeship at the shop.
As you know, the Governor Walz issued an Executive Order directing Minnesotans to “Stay At Home” through April 10th. Keystone is an “essential” business and is part of the Twin Cities’ critical sector response to COVID-19. With this information, we will continue to operate our food shelf, crisis services, meals on wheels and case management programs that support our most vulnerable residents in St. Paul. The executive order also defines “workers” and “personnel” as employees, contractors, vendors and volunteers. This clearly allows our dedicated and wonderful volunteers to continue serving at Keystone during this time. We will have more limited staff in our buildings but remain committed to offering vital support to those who need it.
Programs that are available to the community:
Meals on Wheels deliveries are continuing and staff are modifying operations to ensure safety of the staff, participants and volunteers.
Food shelf operations, including Foodmobile distributions, have been modified to ensure the safety of staff, participants and volunteers but are open Monday – Friday to provide vital food support to people in the community.
Express Bike Shop is open for service repair only. In accordance with the Minnesota stay at home guidelines, bicycle repair shops have been identified as an essential service. To limit person to person contact we ask that you call ahead 651-644-9660 to schedule a bike service repair appointment. Full information is available at exbike.com.
Our youth afterschool programs and active senior programs are canceled as well as any large gatherings in our community centers. AARP Tax Assistance is also canceled until further notice.
We are actively monitoring the situation and will implement any additional strategies when necessary. Stay tuned for updates as things are rapidly changing.
How you can help:
You might be wondering how you can help neighbors during this uncertain time. Here are the top ways you can support your community today:
Give food and household items to keep our food shelves stocked. Click here to see our most needed items and where you can drop off your contributions.
Your time supporting vulnerable people in our community is needed more than ever. Sign up today.
We are so grateful for your care and support!
Healthand Safety Precautions during this time
As you know, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is rapidly evolving. We are relying on facts to inform thoughtful decision-making in an ever-evolving situation. Keystone is committed to providing services in safe, healthy environments for all of our participants, volunteers, and staff. During this time of heightened awareness, we are maintaining our thorough cleaning and food safety standards and expanding them as necessary.