Bryan Pelkey, who owns and operates 2 Steps Higher Head Shop at 6004 Torrey Road, in Flint, is a man who wears many hats — entrepreneur, biker, artist and community activist. Pelkey is also a business owner, employer, taxpayer, husband, father, and community supporter. In other words, he’s a lot like his neighbors and fellow business owners in and around the Flint area — a multi-faceted person with the same concerns and commitments that many of us share.
His venture started in 2010 with three stores, later selling his shares.
Pelkey got into the head shop business following a motorcycle accident several years ago and injuries that sidelined him from his construction job.
In August of 2013, Pelkey opened 2 Steps Higher Head Shop at the corner of Torrey and Hill roads in Flint with the help of his daughter, Alyssa Pelkey.
Pelkey was looking for a business that could be a family venture and help put Alyssa through college. Her job at the store allows Alyssa to work side-by-side with her dad when she is not in class or studying.
“I wanted to offer customers the best of both worlds — the friendly atmosphere and vibe of an old school head shop plus the clean, hightech environment suited to today’s equipment,” says Pelkey of his vision for 2 Steps Higher.
Also working with Pelkey is Jay, whose personable attitude and knowledge have contributed to the growth of the store in the past year.
Visitors to Pelkey’s store will find he’s pulled off his vision with stunning success. The clean and well-lit store features a huge selection of Michigan made glass pipes and all the latest extractors, vaporizers and smoking accessories. They’ll also find a nice selection of clothing including T’s, sweaters, hats, scarves, bags, and a complete line of Discraft disc golf equipment.
Pelkey handpicks every item in his store and takes great pride in thoroughly educating himself on every product so he can help his customers make the best selection for their needs and lifestyle. “I’m not trying to sell someone something they don’t need or can’t afford. I want to help my customers to be as informed as possible,” says Pelkey, adding that he “must be doing something right” based on the number of positive Facebook reviews and referrals he receives.
Pelkey’s vision for his business doesn’t end at his front door. He believes that every business has a responsibility to give back to the community that supports them. “I think we all need to take a look around at those less fortunate than ourselves — some of our neighbors need a helping hand. It’s important to me and important to our community that those of us who can extend that helping hand.”
To that end, Pelkey and 2 Steps Higher take part in a number of charitable community events including taking the lead in the recent initiative to collect clothing, coats, toiletries and cash donations for the North End Soup Kitchen for distribution to families in need during the holiday season.
“My family and I have been fortunate to have found a niche in this community and we are grateful to our customers, friends and fellow business owners who have given us so much support,” says Pelkey while reflecting on the “why” of his community leadership. “Making the world a better place starts in our own backyard. If I can play some small part in that, by pointing out the need and encouraging others to join me in supporting our local charitable organizations, that is the least I can do to pay it forward.”