Recently, this American metropolis has undergone a small renaissance. The El Dorado for entrepreneurs everywhere with large businesses investing in their home city and returning to their origins- Detroit is everything all at once. Take a look at the city which, against all odds, has style.
Zak Pashak, the entrepreneur from the North
Candidate for the Town Hall of Calgary, DJ and finally an entrepreneur. At 34 years old, Zachary Pashak can Candidat à la mairie de Calgary. DJ. Et finalement, entrepreneur. À 34 ans, Zachary Pashak can boast of having several accomplishments in various fields. Today he heads Detroit Bikes, a small company with grand ambitions.
More than 50,000 sqft of space, a successful confluence of modern furnishing meets Spartan decoration meets utilitarianism and a large parking lot; the Detroit Bike’s factory has no shortage of space.
“It’s even too big for us right now but my inspiration is to rapidly grow the business”, comments Zachary Pashak from the outset of his venture.
With a beard framing his round face and dressed in jeans and a plaid T-shirt, the Canadian evokes the image of a hipster-entrepreneur, in genuine casual yet trendy style. “I am easy-going, but this isn’t a café. I want to grow.”
Zak Pashak is not a man with ambition.
Detroit Bikes sold 1000 bikes in 6 months, but the factory is designed for high volume production and has the potential to churn out 50,000 bikes per year
“I am not here to exploit the local market,” comments Zak, “but I want to one day become the largest bikes manufacturer in the United States.”
Detroit Bike’s products are simple with clean styling and do not cater to cycling buffs and competitors, but the general population. After all, Zak Pashak regards himself as an amateur in the world of cycling.
The price o the bikes are around $6,000: a cost that can discourage some people but Zak Pasha believes that the Americans, who are slowly but surely adopting cycling as a means of transportation, will eventually realize its economic value has car maintenance and oil prices become less affordable.
Detroit is proof.
The city flourished and then declined with the automotive industry.
Since its demographic and economic decline, wide streets are left uncrowded. Strangely, they have become a vast playground for bikers whose presence in increasing in the Motor City.
The auto giants also bequeathed to Detroit an infrastructure and skilled workforce of the highest caliber. In short, the automobile capital is the ideal field for a young bicycle manufacturer.
Zak Pashak believes in his instinct.
“For 15 years, I had this overwhelming urge to move to Portland. I have seen the community grow there. I feel that the same thing could happen in Detroit,” he expressed.
Seeing a new Portland in Detroit, he convinced his girlfriend to swap BC for Michigan. The proceeds from the sale of their home allowed them to buy a Victorian house in Highland Park, a historic neighborhood of Detroit – but also its plant and machinery nexus.
The entrepreneur does not, however, see life through rose-tinted glassses.
The move was correct for marriage, and the social climate of Detroit can be heavy. “It’s a shame, but the city is really segregated. White and black middle classes interact only in wealthier suburbs. At the heart of the city, it is very dark and very poor. People do not mix, “he described.
“Sometimes I watch the news and it depresses me. There are transportation problems, no friendly convenience stores at the corner. I live in a very nice area, but two blocks north, there are crack houses. It’s hard, “said the young man.
Nevertheless, he believes that after several decades of economic, social and political problems, Detroit will slowly be reborn.
“The city is unique because of its heritage. Things change. I do not see myself elsewhere.”