Sam Lettes is passionate about both coffee and bikes. It might be an unlikely pair in some peoples eyes, but for Lettes its the perfect business.

He owns Hello Bicycle and Cafe off of Fort Lowell and Dodge in Tucson, which sells and repairs bikes and has a cafe right next door.

As long as it doesnt smell like gasoline, we like to work on it, he causally joked.

The concept first came about in 2009 when Lettes moved to Seattle and started working there at a bike shop. Looking around, he noticed there were a lot of bike slash coffee shops around the city.

Its not something he saw much while he grew up in the Foothills in Tucson, but it was something he grew to love.

You trip over them in the Pacific Northwest. Its just, every blockcafe bike shop, brewery bike shop, bowling alley bike shop, everything, he said.

He eventually bought the bike shop he worked at in 2018. Then he decided to bring it to Tucson and attach a cafe to it.

In 2021, Tucson was introduced to Hello Bicycle and Cafe.

Lettes opened up with his two business partners that he had known since elementary school, their friendship carrying on to Orange Grove Middle School and Catalina Foothills High School, where they graduated from in 2002.

When youve grown up with somebody and then you do a business, youre just like oh ya I know this person exactly, he said.

One of his co-owners, Jordan Lewis, found that each of his partners discovered their niche in the shop, which created an organic atmosphere.

A lot of people warned us that that might put a strain on our friendship, but I dont think it did. I think were all pretty proud, he said.

However, opening up the shop in 2021 during the pandemic didnt come without a cycle of challenges. The shop was dealing with material shortages and found it tough to find some products.

Luckily for them, it didnt last long. From there, the business grew.

We didnt haveI would saya good selection of new bikes when we first started but we recently completed a deal with Salsa Bikes, Lettes said.

While theyre proud of the business itself, theyre also proud of the coffee and bike community theyve created.

It works really really well. Something just kind of.they just naturally go together, Lettes said.