MERIDIAN, IDAHO — While driving down Main Street in Meridian, you're sure to pass a building that looks like a traditional church. While customers still find comfort and good hospitality when you walk in, what you'll get is a huge assortment of bikes and bike accessories.
"It was the first Catholic church in Meridian, it was opened in the mid-40's, little trivia was Bishop Kelly dedicated the church when it was opened, so little bit more of a connection to the Treasure Valley here," said Meridian Cycles owner Paul McKenna.
This historic building is now the home of Meridian Cycles which sells and services all kinds of different bikes. They've been in business for 15 years, but not exclusively in this location.
"Part of the original plan when we opened in 2007 was within five years to purchase a building. Reality kinda kicked in, it took quite awhile longer," said McKenna.
About 10 years, in fact. That's when McKenna happened to strike up a conversation with the former owner of the building and found out they were looking to sell.
"A few months after I approached him, he came back to us and said he wanted to talk," said McKenna.
And in 2017, the former church, was theirs, though it hadn't been a church for some time.
"The gentleman I had bought the building from, he has owned it since 1992, he had a karate studio in here. So we have a karate church," McKenna said.
The building has meant a lot to so many generations of Idahoans. McKenna said they get customers of all different ages coming in just to say hi.
"Either relating stories of how they came here when it was a church, or if the customers were a little younger, the stories were coming here as a karate studio," McKenna said.
"It's humbling to feel like we're stewards of a building that has such a history to Meridian and the Treasure Valley," said Meridian Cycles Owner Krista McKenna.
Customers may walk into Meridian Cycles with the intention of browsing or buying a new bike or some bike accessories, but don't be surprised to learn something about the area as well.
"I love to share restaurants and schools and just give history and kind of a tour guide of the Treasure Valley," said Krista.
And while the husband-wife team are successful business owners, when customers walk in, they will quickly be reminded they're also your neighbors.
"It is still a family-style shop, a family-run business. We consider it an extension of our house and the amount of people we've gotten to meet and know has been incredible. It's so neat when customers come in and you can greet them by first name, and they know your name too," said McKenna.