Welcome back to our ‘Five Minutes with…’ series! This series is where we take a journey around the Island and speak to one of the vibrant businesses here, find out what attracted them to Sugar House Island, what they love about Stratford and their favourite things to do in the area.

Today we’ll be speaking to Drue Lucas owner of Island Bikes, a friendly bike repair and restoration shop that offers exceptional service, including free collection and returns to your desired location. An integral part of our community here, we’re thrilled to announce that Island Bikes has just taken up a bigger space on the Island, moving to 5B Chimney Walk.

1. Please can you introduce Island Bikes and give a bit of background about why you came to Sugar House Island?

Island Bikes came to Sugar House Island because we saw the opportunity to collaborate with what will become a bustling hub of businesses in a prime East London location. With the cycle highway right outside our new shop, we believe it offers a fantastic opportunity for everyday cyclists and pedestrians to experience what we have to offer.

 2. Can you tell us what the new space means for the company and what you will be offering the local community? 

Our new space on Stratford High Street provides a tremendous opportunity to connect directly with our target audience: cyclists and coffee enthusiasts. In addition to bicycle care, the new space features a coffee station, a collaborative workspace, and a skill share centre where local talent can showcase their crafts and hobbies, available for customers to support and purchase.  

3. What makes the Island, and Stratford more broadly, an ideal location for Island Bikes?

This location is ideal for Island Bikes because our target audience consists primarily of cyclists and coffee enthusiasts. Our shop is situated right on the Cycle Highway, which is essentially the M25 for cyclists. 

 4. What are your top tips for first-time visitors to Stratford? E.g. best places to eat, shop, visit?

For first-time visitors to Stratford, I recommend starting with a coffee from us. Then, head over to Jim & Tonic to enjoy one of their in-house distilled gins—you won’t be disappointed. 

 5. You’re collaborating with other businesses on the Island, such as Marchon for weekly fitness classes and local sustainable gin and rum brewers Jim & Tonic. In your opinion, why is collaboration between local businesses in an area so important? 

Collaboration with local businesses is crucial because each business offers something unique to customers. By working together, we can provide each customer with a more personalised experience and a greater variety of options.

 6. Where is your favourite place to take a bike ride? 

My favourite place to ride a bike is anywhere with water running alongside it, whether it’s down the Embankment or along the East London canals—there’s so much to see.