For the culture: Gladstone board shop all about community
A GLADSTONE board shop owner wants his business to be known as a safe space where skate and scooter enthusiasts can chill and share their stories.
Best Friend Boardshop was established 12 months ago by skating diehard Kenny Urquhart, who said a lack of skating shops in the town forced him to act.
"The inspiration behind the business' name comes from my little boy, who I call my best friend more than his actual name," Mr Urquhart said.
"I was not going to allow him to grow up in a town which did not have a board shop.
"I also started Best Friend for the grommies (young boarders) to come in and share their stories and chill."
Mr Urquhart explained that skateboarding or scooting was a great hobby to pick up as COVID-19 restrictions lift because anyone can do it.
"I'm 34 and I skate every day but I sell boards to children as young as five years old," Mr Urquhart said.
"There are old boys that visit my store and purchase vintage Tony Hawk boards.
"If you are dedicated skating is a hobby that you can do your whole life."
Mr Urquhart said his business was not out to make huge profits from the community.
"We are not out to rip you off because all our boards, scooters and apparel is the same price if not cheaper than online retailers," he said.
"We started this business so Gladstone could have a skate shop, not to make heaps of money."
Mr Urquhart said his vision for the future of Best Friend Boardshop was to grow and become known as a store that cares about the community.
"We are just about to put a TV in and we will have old Tony Hawk skating games the kids, or even the adults, can play," he said.
"We need to keep building on community, make sure kids know this is a safe place where they can come in and be themselves.
"The town is missing the skating culture and that is one thing that I really want to build on growing."
Visit the Best Friend Boardshop at the Windmill Centre or shop online at https://bestfriendboardshop.com.