SHOP SPOTLIGHT: ANGRY PENGUIN/ JOHNSON CITY, TENNESSEE

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How long have you been in business?
As of June 2013 it will be ten years strong.  We opened a second store almost two years ago in a nearby town of Kingsport.

Can you explain how the idea for a store came to be?
The owner wanted to open up a skateboard shop, and when I (Jake Hunter) came into the picture, I convinced him that selling BMX was also a good idea.  There was a shop in South Jersey where I’m from that also did this and it just makes perfect sense to sell both.

Who owns the shop?
Marc Nachman.

Who works there?
I have been here since we opened in 2003 and take care of our Johnson City location, and Justin Hoard runs our second store in Kingsport.

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What events have you done at the shop in the past few years?
Every year we host a contest at the skatepark in Kingsport for skateboards and BMX. Other than that, just video premieres and have teams come through when we are lucky enough.

What changes have you noticed in the scene since Angry Penguin opened?
The main thing is how much the scene itself has grown.  There are easily three times as many riders now than when we first opened.

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What does Angry Penguin offer that mail-order doesn’t?
Having events such as contest and video premieres.  Being a place for the kids to come and hang out at. The thing for me when I was younger was the hands-on aspect of things.  Walking in and actually seeing what you’re getting. Besides that, our prices are very competitive with mail-order, a knowledgeable staff and a full maintenance shop.

Top three best-selling Animal products:
Tom White Wall tires, GLH tires and pegs (metal or plastic).  This has pretty much been the case since day one.

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Strangest experience selling an Animal product:
Haha, selling a pair of Bob bars to some bum so he could put them on his mountain bike.

Why carry Animal?
No-nonsense products.  Simple as that.  Everything we carry from Animal works and works well.

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What’s something you never expected to happen after opening Angry Penguin?
It to still be going strong after ten years.

Any future plans for the shop?
Keep doing what we’re doing.  Have a positive place for people to come to, whether it’s to buy something or to simply hang out and watch some videos.

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How many trends have you seen come and go since you have been open?
There are plenty I’m sure, but I try not to pay attention to those.  Let people do what they want to do. The only one I am glad to see phased out is the super light-weight everything.  It’s nice to know that you can trust what you’re riding.

What is the best thing you gained or witnessed from working at Angry Penguin?
Me personally?  I’m beyond lucky that I can work with what I love.  I never regret or hate going to work.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

If you can have one BMX product that doesn’t exist yet what would it be?
Spokes that don’t break from grinding?  That’s a bit far-fetched though.

Where do you see the shop in ten years?
Hopefully still here doing the same thing we’ve been doing for the past ten years.

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Location: Johnson City, Tennessee and Kingsport, Tennessee
Shop address: 123 Wets Main st and 658 West Center st
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11AM-7PM,  Sunday-Monday Closed
Contact info: (423)929-2003 or (423)246-2003   jake@angrypenguin.biz www.angrypenguin.biz

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