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

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.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Ayleen
12 years ago

Good thing there’s pex!

9watts
9watts
12 years ago

Excellent. Nice work, Joshua!

Esther
Esther
12 years ago

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!

Steve B
12 years ago

Go Joshua!

Katie
12 years ago

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

kris gates
kris gates
12 years ago

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

Kate
Kate
12 years ago

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!

h
h
12 years ago

cool…

jim
jim
12 years ago

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

Cookie Grandma
Cookie Grandma
12 years ago

Awesome idea, Josh! Way to green it forward.

adam
adam
12 years ago

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?!

jim
jim
12 years ago

I could also see a custom trailer made from plumbing parts

Chris Shaffer
Chris Shaffer
12 years ago

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

JC in Arbor Lodge
JC in Arbor Lodge
11 years ago

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!

Ashley Tumson
11 years ago

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

Bobby Shaffer
4 years ago

Neat concept but it would be hard to carry your equipment to actually handle many plumbing jobs. Here in Renton WA the rain would also be a factor on a bike 🙂