Social enterprise bicycle shop Rothar turns five with busiest year to date

Dublin-based social enterprise bicycle shop Rothar is celebrating its fifth birthday.

The business was set up with the idea of reducing the amount of bicycle going to landfill by refurbishing and renovating them.

Now it is paying tribute to the thousands of customers who have helped it to reach this significant milestone.

One of the recipients of the Arthur Guinness Fund in 2012, Rothar has enjoyed its busiest year to date as the number of cyclists in Dublin has more than doubled since 2002, according to figures from Dublin City Council.

The company, which trains and employs people who are long-term unemployed as bike mechanics, carries out approximately 150 repairs a week and sells a further 20 refurbished bikes in each shop. All profits are put back into the business.

The first Rothar bicycle shop opened up in Phibsboro in 2009 offering everything from basic puncture repair to full-scale vintage bike restoration. This was followed two years later with the establishment of Café Rothar on Fade St in Dublin’s city centre and a third shop in Dun Laoghaire in 2012.

Founder Anne Bedos has attributed the increasing popularity of cycling to a number of things including successful schemes such as Bike2Work and Dublin Bikes.

“At Rothar we are finding that it is now more socially acceptable than ever to cycle,” she said.

“It’s a clean, affordable and fast way of getting to your destination. I think people also realise that the huge health benefits that come with cycling are impossible to ignore and this would also help to explain the surge in cycling numbers in Dublin and around the country.

“I am immensely proud of all we have achieved in the last five years and the tremendously positive response Rothar has generated as a social enterprise. We have received backing from many quarters, including the incredibly generous support we received from the Arthur Guinness Fund, which has enabled our continued expansion. Hopefully the next five years will be as successful.”