Venture from Chrome founders celebrates opening in West Coast style this Thursday

San Francisco-based Mission Workshop is launching its first international store this Thursday in the Old Truman Brewery in London’s East End, where it will share a roof with hand-made frame builders, 14 Bike Co.

The new store will showcase the entire Mission Workshop range of expandaple backpacks, messenger bags and a newly launched urban cycling shoe that is SPD compatible.

In a nod to its San Francisco roots in the West Coast city’s Mission district, the company will be throwing a Mission-style party to celebrate the opening of the London store, featuring a margarita bar, California beer and a backyard BBQ.

Co-founder Bart Kyzak said: “We felt the time was right to set up shop in London. Over the last 15 years we have been fortunate to be part of a larger network of cycling enthusiasts from around the world. London is known for having a thriving bike community with passionate riders, we love being part of the scene, it was a natural transition for us and it felt right.”

Kyzar and co-founder Mark Falvai founded Mission Workshop in October last year, shortly after the expiry of a non-compete clause they had signed following the sale of their previous business, Chrome Bags, which they had founded in the mid-1990s.

Inevitably, comparisons have been drawn between the two brands, but Kyzar said last year that the new company is “pretty different than Chrome. It's the same people who started Chrome so there's always that symmetry, but the product is a bit more high-end. We're bringing a lot of the outdoor and mountaineering elements into the functional side of the pack.”

The latest product in the Mission Workshop range is the SPD-compatible sneaker, suitable for wearing on and off the bike, which joins the Vandal and Rambler expandable backpacks in the brand’s line-up.

The Vandal is the larger of the pair, and is aimed at those who need a backpack that can grow to cope with additional loads as necessary and incorporates fibreglass rods for support, comfort and improved stability.

“Most people prefer as small of a pack as possible but regularly need extra carrying capacity,” explains Kyzar. “Even with a full load, the Vandal can expand to accommodate an additional bag of groceries or a case of your favorite brew. It easily turns from 1,400 cubic inches into 4,000 cubic inches on the fly.”

The full range can be seen on the Mission Workshop website, and the launch party takes place on Thursday 12 August from 7.30-10pm at Mission Workshop, 13 Elys Yard, The Truman Brewery, London E1 6QL.


Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.