What initially began as a juice bar in Lakota Coffee in 1997, turned into the local cafe health- and environmentally-conscious people know and love, Main Squeeze. Owner Leigh Lockhart says this café is “the manifestation of dreams I’ve had for years; incorporating a lifestyle as a way of making a living.” Her interest in agriculture, vegetarianism, and juicing led her to the idea of creating a business with those values at the core.
When asked why she became a PedNet Business Member Lockhart replied, “the mission of PedNet and the projects they pursue, such as trails, are right in line with my beliefs.” Those beliefs include the need for sustainability and improved health. “People who are more active are more constructive and proactive,” she continues, “feeling better and reducing their risk of lots of preventable diseases makes them happier and makes for a better community.”
To improve the safety of people walking and biking downtown she believes one of the first steps is having a more supportive city, which includes the residents and the City staff. “Supporting PedNet is one of the best, smartest things our City does.” As for infrastructure, she would love to see designated bike lanes on all streets and, while she doesn’t see it happening anytime in the near future, pedestrian streets would be her ideal downtown. Lockhart explains, “The whole system of trails and giving deference to bicyclists by building safe, urban paths to travel and commute on is super important.”
Lockhart believes being a business in the District kind of forces people to consider another option besides driving. While she doesn’t believe there is a lack of parking downtown, the cost of parking and parking tickets were factors prompting her to switch from a car to a scooter to commute to Main Squeeze.
In part due to her employees, she may switch again during fair-weather days, this time to a bicycle. “The best part of my business is my employees because they are amazing kids,” she explains, “95% of them bike or walk to work. They have played a role in my interest in biking.” That role may have been what provoked her to purchase a bicycle from a friend. As someone who currently uses a scooter, we may see more commuting by pedal power on her blue, vintage bike in the near future.