We take an afternoon and visit our friends at the New Tradition Company.
Words Michael Hilton Images Adam Fitzgerald & Gregory George Moore
Joe Weiss likes to build things out of wood. Jay Roche likes to build things out of metal. Both of them love motorcycles. So it was only natural that when the two of them met that they would make the most of the opportunity to blend their interests. Says Joe, “Customizing motorcycles, making stuff with our hands and trying to make a living doing something we love - that became our goal.”
In 2015 the pair realized there was a budding moto scene in their hometown of Worcester, MA. and, wanting to be a part of it, decided to go on a hunt for a good rental space. After being stymied on many attempts they realized they needed to pursue another avenue. They elected to buy a building. With a bit of luck, some good timing and the help of people knowledgeable about commercial real estate, they laid it on the line and purchased a building at 7 Jackson St. in Worcester and the New Tradition Company was established.
The two-story brick structure built in 1915 was the perfect blank slate. After months of heavy-duty demolition and remodeling, they set up their own woodworking and metalworking spaces. With 13,000 sq. ft. to work with there was plenty of room for more. “The idea was that we wanted to fill the building with like-minded people who were into the same things that we were into,” Joe explains. “The whole project began to grow organically with little pieces of the dream being added one at a time.”
A barbershop (Heartland Barber), another motorcycle company (The Eazy Company) and a premier skateboard retailer (Eastern Boarder) all took up residence within the building. As a major part of their original vision, Jason and Joe designed and built a coffee shop. Says Joe, “Being that all of us here love motorcycles we wanted a coffee shop to have a daily way for the community to connect. We wanted it to be a place where customers feel like it’s their second home when they walk through the door.” They teamed up with friends from Seattle’s Anchorhead Coffee and now make some of the best coffee and espresso drinks in Worcester.
In January of 2017, they held their first New Tradition Motorcycle and Art show which has continued for three years with people traveling from as far as Maine, New York, and Florida to attend. This past January a major blizzard descended on Worcester on the night of the show but that didn’t stop hundreds from coming and checking out some of the best custom motorcycles in the northeast.
With lively swap meets, possible group rides to New York City and additional shows (hopefully, a summer show) on the horizon, it’s clear that New Tradition Company has a busy future and Joe and Jay have had a major impact on the local scene.