When it comes to slow food, what better way than to pair what we eat with slow delivery? It’s no surprise that bikes and food pair so well together. We do, after all, need fuel to ride. Just like small scale, local food production plays a role in putting us on a track to sustainability, so does bike delivery. Certainly, we won’t replace all food delivery by bicycle overnight, but it’s nice to know that projects around the country are putting a love of good food and two wheels together to make their communities a better place. It would be impossible to list all the bike and food businesses out there — and it feels good to know that there are more and more — but here are 9 cool businesses that are changing the world one bicycle at a time.
Where they’re pedaling: Tallahassee, Florida
Farm-to-table is one thing. Farm-t0-table via bicycle is quite another. That’s exactly what Ten Speed Greens is, an urban farm in Tallahassee, Florida run by two women who deliver to local businesses by bicycle. They’ve got a monthly CSA or Tallahassee residents can find their bicycle-delivered produce at a variety of restaurants, cafes and coops around town.
2. Soup Cycle
Where they’re pedaling: Portland, Oregon
You’ve heard of Portlandia, but have you heard of Souplandistan? That’s what Portland-based soup delivery business calls the area that they’ll pedal their soup to. Started five years ago, the company delivers soup (as well as salad and bread if you want it) by bicycle. There is always a meat, vegetarian and vegan option, and Soup Cycle is committed to working with local farmers. In fact, since they’ve started, they’ve funneled more than $220,000 to local farmers. Oh, and the soup’s tasty too.
3. El Taco Bike
Where they’re pedaling: Oakland, California
If you’ve been to Oakland, you may have run into El Taco Bike. The three-wheeled bicycle carts fresh made tacos all over town; they’ll even make house deliveries as long as you live in the neighborhood. As they call it, it’s good ole “pedal powered grub.”
Where they’re pedaling: Toronto, Canada
If you’re planning a picnic in Toronto, give Lilli’s Lunches a call. The catering company does bike delivered food for events, dinner parties, and yes, picnics. Catering clients can work with Lilli’s Lunches to create customized menus and they’ll get pedaled to your doorstep.
5. Tin Umbrella
Where they’re pedaling: Seattle, Washington
Cyclists love their coffee, so it’s no surprise that there are coffee and bike related operations popping up around the country. Tin Umbrella is one of them, a coffee shop opened up last year in Seattle after a successful round of crowdfunding. Why were people so excited about supporting a coffee shop? Because they weren’t just launching a coffee shop — they were also building a roastery and neighborhood delivery of their coffee would take place by bike. The roastery is finally up and running, and soon South Seattlites can look forward to coffee delivered by bicycle. Live in North Seattle? Then you’ve got Conduit Coffee.
Where they’re pedaling: Ottawa, Canada
In Ottawa, Tricia Enns bakes up vegan and gluten-free treats and delivers them by bicycle. She’s big on foraging, so often her treats involve local ingredients, like Local Yocal Squares. Who doesn’t want to taste those?
Where they’re pedaling: San Francisco, California
Maybe it should come as no surprise that a stone’s throw from Napa Valley in the bike centric city of San Francisco you can get wine delivered by bicycle. Rewinery selects wines from all over the world, customers can order online or by phone and select their delivery time, then a bicycle with your wine bottles shows up. They’ll even help supply wine if you’re planning a party and need a few more bottles than usual.
Where they’re pedaling: Sweden and around the world
Opening up a coffee shop in this day and age can take a lot of time and money, but in a world of Starbucks franchises what is a young eco-entrepreneur to do? Get on board with Wheely’s Cafe. That’s the name of a project by the Nordic Society For Invention and Discovery, whose goal is to build a global franchise of independent pedal-powered cafes. The bike cafes are solar powered, which helps run the coffee maker. They’re currently funding on Indiegogo, and if you’re in the market for your own pedal-powered business, you can snag a Wheely’s Cafe for only $1,800.
Where they’re pedaling: Brooklyn, New York
Even if you’re committed to eating locally, sometimes real life gets in the way, and you’re not always available to trek to the local urban farm to pick up your produce. In Brooklyn, there’s a solution for that: the Brooklyn Bike Armada. The worker owned cooperative provides home delivery of CSA shares during the spring and summer season. Fresh produce pedaled straight to your door; there’s no more excuse to not eat local.
Photo Credit: wittco.gmbh