TAMPA — Joe Haskins wished to retire.
“He was months into making an attempt,” spouse Michelle Calonge-Haskins mentioned. “I want he would have so we might have spent extra time collectively.”
Earlier than they may, he died at 79 on March 21, 2021.
That’s why she is aware of Haskins would approve of the household’s choice to shutter Joe Haskins Bicycle Store, which he had owned since 1960.
Calonge-Haskins’ daughter, Brittany Calonge, has been operating the enterprise at 2310 N Florida Ave. since he died. However she wants assist. The answer could be for Calonge-Haskins to come back out of retirement to help with bike gross sales and repairs.
“He wouldn’t need that,” Calonge-Haskins mentioned. “He would need me to remain retired. Individuals instructed us to not make any selections in the course of the first 12 months after he died. So, we thought we might proceed to run the enterprise, however we determined closing is the very best choice for us.”
She’s been again within the store not too long ago, however solely to say goodbye to clients.
Joe Haskins Bicycle Store’s ultimate day is Dec. 17.
“Prospects are after all upset,” Calonge-Haskins mentioned. “In addition they settle for that occasions change. Nevertheless it’s been round for a very long time.”
Since 1916, based on an indication painted on the aspect of its constructing, making it the oldest bike store in Tampa. Joe Haskins Bike Store was initially named Tampa Cycle Firm and owned by Haskins’ uncle, Anthony Arduengo.
Calonge-Haskins not too long ago discovered the primary receipt Haskins signed as proprietor. “Might 27, 1960,” she mentioned.
Haskins stored the enterprise’ unique title by at the very least 1979, based on information archives. Newspapers first determine it as Joe Haskins Bicycle Store in 1981.
“They went from downtown on Florida Avenue to Franklin Road, from Franklin Road to Tampa Road, after which from Tampa Road to this location,” Calonge-Haskins mentioned.
She met Haskins on the Tampa Road location in 1978.
“I lived throughout from it,” Calonge-Haskins mentioned. “I went over there to get a 25-cent soda and had my 11- month-old son in my arms.”
Haskins’ spouse on the time, Dorothy Haskins, requested to carry the newborn and for Calonge-Haskins to deliver him again as typically as doable.
“I did, after which sooner or later she says I ought to begin working there,” Calonge-Haskins mentioned. “I might go in each infrequently, then went full time, after which went to work for the county for 20 years however would nonetheless go in on Saturdays.”
Dorothy Haskins died in 2011. A 12 months later, Haskins and Calonge-Haskins married.
“Joe bought sick with colon most cancers. I bought identified with Degos, which is a uncommon deadly illness,” she mentioned. “We have been greatest associates and determined that we’d get married and maintain one another. He died hugging me on the hospital.”
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Resulting from diabetes, Haskins wanted dialysis 3 times per week in his ultimate years, Calonge-Haskins mentioned. He was on the store when therapy was achieved.
“It took every part he had simply to operate,” she mentioned. “However he was so devoted to this place.”
At age 6, Haskins lied about his age to get a paper route to assist help his household. His first spouse had six youngsters from a earlier marriage.
“He adopted all of them,” Calonge-Haskins mentioned. “He purchased each one in every of them a automotive, put braces on their enamel, put them by personal faculty. He was an actual go-getter and liked all of them. They have been his youngsters.”
There have been a number of occasions that Haskins got here near promoting the enterprise.
“However then he’d all the time say that if we do, we will’t get it again,” Calonge-Haskins mentioned.
So, he as a substitute ready Calonge-Haskins’ daughter to take it over.
“He hoped it could nonetheless have the ability to financially maintain her and me,” Calonge-Haskins mentioned. “After which, down the street, she might select what she wished to do with it.”
Enterprise continues to be good: On a current Saturday, Calonge-Haskins mentioned, that they had greater than 100 clients. However her daughter desires to attempt different ventures.
“Now we have fantastic clients who we’ll miss,” Calonge-Haskins mentioned. “However it’s time to transfer on.”