Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Metro Skate Shop

Nestled in a little shopping center next to the Sunvalley mall is a shop that is so cutty one might not know it's there. Yet this shop has a lot of clout...like having a team that is fronted by a rider that has had a killer 09. The skater I'm speaking of is "The Duff Man" aka Cory Duffel, along with Mr. Duffel the shop has a mini ramp stuffed in to the back of the shop, killer product line up and an owner who is down by law and rips himself. The man I'm speaking of is Joel Jutagir. Joel keeps the scene alive out in the Pleasant Hill area by offering a chill spot for the locals to kick it and skate if weather goes south and calls for rain, or if you just want to get your mini ramp on. I had a chance to catch up with Joel and ask him how he does what he does and get his shop documented on "film". Sit back and see how a local shop gets things done.


C: Name, age, location, title

J: Joel Jutagir, 34, Pleasant Hill, Skateshop Owner

C: I can remember this shop being here when I was much younger. How long have you guys been at this location.

J: We've been in business for ten years. Metro moved locations about 4 years back, bigger space, bigger ramp not much else has changed.

C: I heard you mention a partner before, what happened there?

J: The first few years of business were a struggle, we're talking Top Ramen, and King Cobra for days on end. We were not only not making money, but my partner was losing cash by commuting from SF every other day. He ended up getting a job in the city and cashing out his share for a steadier paycheck. He still shreds a lot though, skated the flower shop SF with him a few weekends ago.

C: Do you have a staff? As I think about it I have only seen you holding it down.

J: One of my team guys Taylor holds it down on the weekends, so i can get some time on the board. I notice he's getting damn good at mini ramp lately :)

C: Can you give me the lowdown on the ramp.

J: The ramps fun, if you support the shop, its a free ride. Walk in here with a setup from the mall and its all bad, five bucks and the stinkeye!

C: Your shop is getting ready to release a film. How long has that project been rolling?

J: Red Asphalts been in the works since we started as a shop, Corey Duffel's brother Stephen put our first vid together about 8 years back, we'd always wanted a full length, but that one clocked in at about 12 minutes. Then there was loads of talk, but all of us have that malady where we still like to have fun out there, cameras in tow and pressure to land the gnarly trick are a hard pill to swallow, but it finally came together, just took us three times as long. I hope when it premiers everybody thinks it's worth the wait. Our filmer/editors Alex Kissinger and Jesse Gale have been working hard to make the vid something unique ...RED ASPHALT 3-24-10

C: As a true mom and pop operation how do you stay afloat.....you know the economy and all?

J: Just try and treat our customers well, have the goods that keep em coming back to see us!

C: How does the shop involve itself in the community?

J: We build stuff for kids to skate, speak at career days, host demos, teach skatecamps, you name it, if it involves skateboarding, we're down.

C: Joel I have seen you skate, you rip. Whats your background?

J: Thanks! I moved from Fl to Sf to skate, had so much fun in the city, all the good stuff was still skateable. as soon as I moved to the East Bay, I started meeting all the guys that'd later become metros shop team. Things started taking a different turn, shot a lot of photos and filmed, got sponcered thanks to Corey. Had some shots in the mags. It was amazing, but at the same time I was starting up the shop and Metro woulda gone the way of so many other cool skater owned businesses if it didn't get some attention. Its still a balancing act, but it feels good having something out in the world that represents my point of view with skateboarding. Good times!! FMS - fuck mall shops!

C: Thanks for your time, any parting thoughts or shout outs?

J: Thanks to my wife Kate for always understanding while I was out late nights on the skateboard and Metro's team for always inspiring me with their skating and being who they are, everyone thats supported the shop over the years we wouldn't be here without you! THANKS! Keep up the good fun.