Handcrafting A Business
Vincent Rodriquez talks bikes, coffe and education.
Vincent Rodriguez loves maps.
“Maps tell the story of where you’ve been, where you’re going and where you want to go,” Rodriguez says, as he holds a bag of his own hand-roasted coffee beans, aptly titled “Maps Coffee.”
Rodriguez, who opened his own bike shop and café in June, is entering uncharted territory as the only major frame builder in Kansas City.
“In other cities, you can throw a rock and hit another frame builder.” Rodriguez says. “I don’t have that here. I don’t have other people locally to talk to or collaborate with.”
Despite being on his own, Rodriguez opened up his bike shop/café/frame builder’s studio in Old Town Lenexa, located about 15 miles southwest of downtown Kansas City in a historic strip across the street from a set of train tracks. Rodriguez’s shop is a reflection of the bike culture in Kansas City. It may be young and unassuming, but thanks to a few passionate individuals, it’s finally gaining momentum. In the three months the shop has been open, Moka Velo has become more than a bike shop. Rodriguez has crafted more than a retail destination for cyclists; he’s created a community.