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Portland's latest bike-based business: The Bicycle Plumber

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on February 4th, 2011 at 10:42 am

Joshua de Parrie is ready to fix your plumbing.

Joshua de Parrie is The Bicycle Plumber. Fresh out of a four-year apprenticeship to get his professional plumbing contractor license, the 38 year old native of Southeast Portland is already completing jobs around town, using a Kona Ute longtail bike, a cargo trailer and his own power to cart around tools and supplies.

de Parrie told me this morning that he's "never really been that into cars" and that he didn't get his driver's license until he was in his mid-20s. He started his business, St. Francis Plumbing, about two months ago and — while he has a truck that he'll use if he has to — he's tailored the geographic range of his clients and the scope of his jobs based on what he can carry by bike.

"One of the main things I love about what I do is that it puts me directly in touch with the bike community... These are the people I'm working for."

de Parrie recently completed a job for Cafe Velo, another local-based bike business that got its start selling drip-to-order coffee from a Dutch cargo trike and has recently opened a bricks-and-mortar cafe downtown. "I replaced the waste drains for their sinks when they were leaking," de Parrie says.

As for the connection to Saint Francis (in his name and his logo), de Parries says he's always admired his "persona." "He was an enigmatic figure like Jesus or Buddha... I just really like the simplicity of life he presented... One of my favorite quotes of his is, 'Preach the gospel, and when necessary use words'." And, de Parrie adds, "Oh, and I love the artwork too!"

St. Francis Plumbing is just one of a growing legion of Portland small businesses who are choosing to use bicycles as their primary work vehicles. de Parrie hopes the trend continues to catch on. "I would love it if other people who own similar businesses would do the same thing. Please, steal my idea!"

Contact de Parrie via his website at StFrancisPlumbing.com and check out his Facebook page here.

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Comments
  • Ayleen February 4, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Good thing there's pex!

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  • 9watts February 4, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Excellent. Nice work, Joshua!

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  • Esther February 4, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Very cool. We need a directory for in-home services that travel by bike! (Plumbing, electrical, cleaning, etc etc) I would love to hire professionals when I need those kind of services but it's hard to find them!

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  • Steve B February 4, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Go Joshua!

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  • Katie February 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    I was just ogling this bike + gorgeous trailer the other day. Good to know it's being put to good use!

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  • kris gates February 4, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    I love it! Very cool. Wish more people would be as brave..

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  • Kate February 4, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    I don't need any plumbing assistance right now, but if you make a t-shirt with that image of St Francis on it, I will buy it!

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  • h February 5, 2011 at 9:50 am

    cool...

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  • jim February 5, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Joshua-
    You should paint your bike with copper paint so it would look like it was made from plumbing materials

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  • Cookie Grandma February 5, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Awesome idea, Josh! Way to green it forward.

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  • adam February 6, 2011 at 6:20 am

    what a great idea! I hope it works perfectly. not to be suggestive, but when I read the title and saw the photo, I swore that revphil would be involved in this somehow?!

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  • jim February 7, 2011 at 7:08 am

    I could also see a custom trailer made from plumbing parts

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  • Chris Shaffer July 2, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Same day service with a smile. Joshua fixed my half-installed under-sink water filter and a few other minor repairs to boot. Thanks!

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  • JC in Arbor Lodge January 6, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    I called Joshua in to work on a leaky drain under my kitchen sink, and a slow draining bathtub. Pricing was very reasonable, and everything is working great now. I'm always curious about how stuff goes together, so I appreciated his clear explanations of what was causing the problem, and how he fixed it. Also, he pointed out a washing machine supply line that was near failure and fixed that too. Thanks Joshua!

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  • Ashley Tumson July 17, 2012 at 9:15 am

    It's pretty interesting, but it would probably not work in San Francisco with all the hills and slopes..

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