Rick Snyder has one essential rule for his employees.

“I never ask them to do anything I could not do myself,” said Snyder, who has co-owned Mike’s Bike Shop in Dieppe with his wife Heather for 16 years.

Mike’s is the largest bicycle retailer in Atlantic Canada, largely because of their work ethic and the professionalism of his staff, which features 20 full-time employees and some part-timers.

“I am the first one in here in the mornings and the last one to leave seven days a week,” Snyder said. “That’s the way it is in most small business operations. You need to have a passion for your business if you want it to succeed.”

His passion is obvious.

Rick was just 11 years-old when he began working at Bungay’s Bike  Shop. He ran errands and enthusiastically completed every chore assigned. He stayed for 25 years and wound up managing the store.

In 2005, he and Heather purchased Mike’s, then located on Champlain Street, and six years ago, with the assistance of a bike shop architect in the United States, they moved to their new spacious and impressive new building on Englehart Start, just off Dieppe Boulevard.

“We bring our passion to work every day, but another key to our success has been the staff,” Snyder said. “When we hire, we look for enthusiasm and people tho look customers in their eyes and deal with them properly and politely.

“We don’t need you to know everything about bikes. We can train you with everything you need to know about bikes. What we need are people who believe in flawless customer service.”

Mike’s only sells the top-rated bicycles and accessories in North America. During the winter, they sell skis and other seasonal sports equipment.

“There is a growing market for high-end products and we can provide them, but our core business is a family business. When families are looking to be outfitted with great bikes with outstanding service, they come see us. That’s what we are most proud of as we continue to serve our community and customers from all over the Maritimes.”