(Photos courtesy Jed Lazar)
Who would have thought that in this down economy, a local business that delivers soup by bicycle would flourish?
That seems to be the case with SoupCycle. Launched back in August, the Southeast-Portland based company started by Jed Lazar now boasts 100 weekly soupscribers. Lazar is so busy he recently took out a job listing on BikePortland (for a “Bicycle Delivery Souper Hero” — get it?).
I checked in with Lazar a few days ago and he told me that, “Things are going well and the business is keeping us busy”. He also added that 100 deliveries is “nearly insane for me to deliver myself.” He makes the deliveries all over Southeast Portland (a place he calls Souplandistan) from SE Powell to I-84 and from I-405 in Northwest Portland to SE 39th.
That’s a lot of ground to cover but Lazar does it in comfort (and with a smile) on his three-wheeled, electric-assisted bike while pulling a trailer (made by Blue Sky Cycle Carts).
stickers adorn a Soup delivery vehicle.
About the challenges of bike delivery, Lazar says, “Being out in the elements for eight hours, while delivering a product that is attractive to customers takes some serious care, but we’re committed to making it work.”
Lazar says excited at how Portland has responded to SoupCycle, and he gives a special shout out to Portland’s legions of bike lovers: “We owe a big part of the success we’ve had to Portland’s bike-loving culture.”
SoupCycle is just one of many bike-based businesses that have sprouted up in Portland in recent months. Lazar hopes the trend spreads beyond our borders:
“I see Portland as a testing ground to perfect bicycle transportation and delivery. We hope that other cities around the US see the success of Portland’s bicycle-based businesses and are inspired to move in that direction.”