The Tandem Connection
The Progress Fund got it. They understood what we want to accomplish, and they understood the potential of what this is going to be. … They’ve been incredibly supportive.
Seth and Laurie Fosmire are longtime sales and marketing pros. David Poe is an entrepreneur and his wife, Lori, a certified nutritionist and runner. Acquainted through business, the Fosmires and the Poes kept running into each other on the Montour Trail. Eventually they got the notion that a century-old coal company store would make a great trailside amenity. Right between two new trail bridges and near the Southpointe development, its location couldn’t be better. “We decided we would just start moving toward it, and if something stopped us, we’d stop,” says Seth Fosmire.
Nothing stopped them, but trips to three banks flattened their tires. “I don’t think they really understood what this was, all they saw was a 100-year-old building and people wanting to rent a few bikes and sell coffee,” says Seth. Then, Ned Williams, the President of Montour Trail Council, recommended The Progress Fund. They understood the couples’ plan and loaned them $289,000.
Now that old coal company store is The Tandem Connection. In one room, visitors find all kinds of bikes for rent or sale, and in the next they can order java and locally baked goodies at kickstand koffee. Outside, a barbecue pit roars. The Poes and Fosmires are planning rides and walks to benefit the trail and other charities. Their goal is to promote healthy, quality family time together. Seth adds the challenge, “Rent a couple bikes and get reacquainted with an old friend. Take your significant other on a romantic, bicycle built for two. Take your grandchildren out for ice cream and a stroll. The important thing is to get out on the trail and spend some quality time together.”
Five years later, Seth and Laurie left the business to pedal in a new direction. The Poes are thankful for their partnership and the journey they took with them, as they continue to provide the high level of service that their customers have always received.
This project was financed in part using Pennsylvania Small Business Credit Initiative (PSBCI) funds from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community and Economic Development.
The Progress Fund is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
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