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UPDATE: Newhall Bicycle Company calling it quits

Longtime supporters of the community say their store isn’t making enough money to survive

Posted: December 18, 2012 11:48 a.m.
Updated: December 18, 2012 7:16 p.m.

After years of spearheading what has become the Santa Clarita Valley’s biggest community event and annual street party at Thanksgiving, the owners of the Newhall Bicycle Company are throwing in the towel on their business.

“We’re calling it quits,” bike store owner Roger Hasper said Tuesday. “We’re not making enough money.”

Hasper said it wasn’t as if he woke up one day and recognized the bad business situation.

“We’ve been in a bad (situation) for some time,” he said.

Less than a month ago, more then 2,000 people flocked to the front of the bike shop on Main Street for the annual Newhall Thanksgiving feast, pushing attendance for the free meal higher than ever.

Besides the food served by volunteers, the event marked the second consecutive year Hasper and his wife, Shannon, collected and distributed donated clothes, particularly kids’ clothes, at the street dinner.

Hundreds of people responded to an appeal by the Haspers to donate clothing.

Now it’s the Haspers who need help.

“You keep hitting your thumb with the hammer until one day you say, ‘Hey, I need a better tool,’” Roger Hasper said

If someone came by and asked to purchase his bike shop, Hasper is open to making that transaction happen, he said.

The Haspers’ bicycle shop, a fixture in Newhall for more than eight years, has struggled to stay in business in recent years, while the Thanksgiving feast they host has grown exponentially.

In 2007, when the bike shop operated near Railroad Avenue and Market Street, the feast was first laid out in the back of the Haspers’ shop.

Hasper and his family set out 10 long tables for the community to come and eat that year, no questions asked. The next year, they put out 22 tables that were quickly filled.

Last month, the same feast attracted thousands, requiring the city to shut down Main Street.

The bike shop’s troubles follow the closure in 2008 of the Newhall Hardware store — a fixture in the community — that operated for more than 60 years in the heart of downtown Newhall.

“That was the start,” Hasper said of the landmark store’s closure. “When it went away, the whole of downtown Newhall changed.”





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