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.
We know for so many people in our community, things in their lives may not feel as stable as they once did. If you or someone you know needs support please know our programs are here for you and we encourage you to refer people to us as well. We can get people connected to food shelf services, meals on wheels, crisis assistance, or refer to other community services as we are able.
Looking for additional food support?
In July we’ll also be hosting Foodmobile distributions, Free Farmers Market events and a Fare for All event, all in safe, socially-distanced ways. Check out our events page for the full schedule and check back regularly as more events are added.