Words: Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag, November 2010
In 2001, Glen Coy was a senior in high school when he and a couple friends decided to open a skate shop.
“For some reason, my family went along with it and gave me a huge loan. I don’t know what they were thinking,” Coy jokes.
Almost a decade later, Coy and staff are strictly skate and still holding it down at Epidemic. They spent their first year in a small 600-square-foot spot in Cathedral City, California, then upgraded to a 4000 square foot location in the center of town a year later.
“It was so crazy looking at that much empty space and thinking we could fill it up with product. Now we’ve practically outgrown it again,” says Coy.
“When we opened I had no future plans,” Coy continues, “I had to take things into my own hands and make shit happen. We’ve realized that most of the kids around us are in the same situation. We always listen to them and try to give them the opportunity to make their lives better and get things going. We just wanna give our employees and riders the chance to do as much with the shop as they want.”
According to Coy, the Cathedral City skate scene is doing well at the moment and there’s a really strong skateboard community thanks to the Palm Springs Skatepark.
“We have the best kids from the area on our team,” Coy says. “But the park is only open from 3-8 pm on weekdays, which is a bummer because it limits us with doing special events. The city is really tough to work with but we’ve done a couple best trick contests there with over 500 kids at each one—some of the best nights ever.”
Epidemic is currently working on a new shop video that will be released for their 10-year anniversary and hosts an annual camping trip to the local mountains with Emerica.
“We invite anyone that wants to follow us to come camping and skate the local park for the weekend,” says Coy.
The 110-degree summers are tough for Epidemic’s business, but what compensates is the fact that Cathedral City turns into a tourist trap snow/ski resort in the fall, winter and spring.
“We try to only carry product were proud of—and a wide range of it so every person that walks thru the door can find something,” Coy explains. “Skate retail in California is so tough. There’s a shop on pretty much every corner and no one our age has seen tougher times than right now. You just gotta be smart and run a tight ship. Everyone that works and rides for Epidemic has grown up around it and made it what it is today. It’s such a huge part of all our lives. Customers love walking in to the store and seeing people they know working and know they can get the best service.”
Unlike many shop owners, Coy’s goal for ten years from now isn’t necessarily to open a bunch more shops. In fact, he’s thankful to just have one.
“I’d love to help the local kids live the dream of opening their own stores, Coy says. I guess that’s my main goal.”
68802 Ramon Road
Cathedral City, CA 92234