bike based business

Why use bikes for business? Two Portlanders share their stories

Avatar by on April 18th, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Two more bike-based businesses.

Recently I’ve learned about two more Portland businesses that have made bicycles an integral part of their business. Crank Roasting is a new coffee company and Co-Creative Pruning has been in business since 2010. I asked the owners of both businesses to share more about what they do and why they’ve decided to use bicycles.

Cory Love, owner of Crank Roasting:

“I have been involved in coffee roasting over the last 15 years. My love of riding and racing bikes goes back to my childhood – racing BMX through the late 70’s and 80’s and then in my mid 20’s I got into road cycling and racing. As my family and business became busier in my 30’s, I was finding it harder to ride consistently. I started dreaming about a way to be able to have bicycling be integral to my business.”

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Three new bike-based businesses spring up

Avatar by on August 15th, 2012 at 1:53 pm

I’m happy to have three more bike-based businesses to introduce you to. Two of them are food-related, and we’ve got yet another service-related bike business (to add to the plumber, landscaper, general contractor, couriers, and others!).

Momo Cart

Momo Cart is a food cart run out of a bike trailer that sells Nepalese steamed dumplings. The cart opened in June and is the work of Evan Feenstra and his business partners Roshan and Hailey Bhai (Roshan is a native of Nepal). Evan says momos are standard snacking fare in Nepal and they’ve kept the same recipe you’d find on the streets there. Another tradition they follow is to pulling the cart by bike, which Evan says is often how they’re sold in Nepal. [Read more…]

Catching up with Portland’s ‘Builder by Bike’

Avatar by on August 15th, 2012 at 8:38 am

Chris Sanderson, a general contractor who
works by bike, has had a successful first
year in business.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Back in February, I introduced you to Chris Sanderson, a licensed general contractor who runs his entire business from a cargo bike with a trailer attached. In an industry where big trucks are the norm, Chris’s story stands out among Portland’s growing crop of bike-based businesses. I ran into him the other day and learned he’s celebrating a very successful first year in business.

Hoping to learn more about Chris’s experiences, I asked him a few questions via email…

How was your first year in business?

My first year in business has been a learning experience. I never planned to be in business for myself and I have learned valuable lessons, sometimes the hard way. One thing that I did not anticipate going into this was the amount of administrative/overhead time that it takes to run a business. I am starting to learn that I need to account for the hours running the business, and adjust my rates appropriately to cover those costs. Needless to say, I am beginning to understand why contractors charge what they charge. When I first started doing this business, I was charging $20/hour, which is super cheap compared to many contractors, and now I am starting to see that I need to charge about $45-55/hour to cover my overhead costs. Some people tell me that is still super cheap, but I have the advantage of not having automobile expenses.
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New mobile bike repair business, ‘Rolling Wrench’, opens for business

Avatar by on July 25th, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Another bike-based business has set up shop on the streets of Portland. Rolling Wrench, “Portland’s bike shop on wheels,” is a mobile bicycle repair business and brainchild of Tim Ennis. Tim is a veteran of several bike shops whose independent streak left him wanting to go out on his own.

“I’ve worked for various bike shops over the years, and finally got fed up with trying to do something I love on someone else’s terms,” he told me via email this morning.

Tim opened Rolling Wrench in Boston last May and says it was a huge success. He moved to Portland over the winter (to be closer to family), and hoped to open a similar business in the spring. It took a bit longer than he planned to get things rolling; but he opened for business this week and says things are going great so far. [Read more…]

Portland Pedal Power launches cargo bike enclosure sales

Avatar by on May 7th, 2012 at 11:24 am

Portland Pedal Power’s cargo enclosure.

Portland Pedal Power is a local bike business that delivers food, beer and wine, groceries and other products throughout the city. Their fleet consists of Yuba Mundo longtail cargo bikes with custom made enclosures that attach to the rear racks.

The enclosures are a nifty way to hold cargo and they have a highly visible presence on the road.

In the nearly five years they’ve been in business the enclosures have gone through many iterations and design refinements. Now, after receiving many inquiries about them from other local businesses, Portland Pedal Power is selling them as a stand-alone product. [Read more…]

Portland’s coffee bike arms race (and other cargo bike news)

Avatar by on April 24th, 2012 at 11:29 am

Trailhead’s latest.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

In the past I’ve documented Portland’s strong and rich connection between coffee and bikes. I’ve also shared how this city is absolutely bonkers for cargo bikes in all of their many manifestations. Well, it turns out that those two trends are continuing to push local coffee and bike lovers to new heights.

Here are a few dispatches from the front lines of Portland’s coffee bike arms race (followed by several, non-coffee cargo bike news updates):[Read more…]

General contractor builds business by bike

Avatar by on February 14th, 2012 at 10:14 am

Ready for the job. Without a big truck (he uses a cargo bike and a large trailer), Chris Sanderson is finding a niche with his construction business.
(Photo: Courtesy Chris Sanderson)

Chris Sanderson, the man behind new bike-based business ‘Builder by Bike’, is a licensed general contractor who wants to show it’s possible to be a home remodeler, deck builder, and painter, without owning a big truck.[Read more…]

SoupCycle reaches milestone 50,000th delivery

Avatar by on January 23rd, 2012 at 12:26 pm

SoupCycle Founder and CEO Jed Lazar pedals in downtown Portland. He estimates he’s made about 15,000 of the company’s 50,00 deliveries since July 2008.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Sometime this week, locally based SoupCycle will make its 50,000th delivery. It’s a milestone that company founder Jed Lazar says “feels incredible and unreal.”[Read more…]

Spoketown Cargo is Portland’s newest bike-based business

Avatar by on December 2nd, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Joel Sheley of Spoketown Cargo secures a load on his delivery bike.

Joel Sheley is the latest Portlander to be swept up in the local bike business wave. Sheley has launched Spoketown Cargo with hopes of building a business delivering goods by bike.

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Voodoo Doughnut is latest to use cargo bikes for business

Avatar by on November 14th, 2011 at 11:34 am

Voodoo’s Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson gives the new trike a try in front of his Old Town location.
(Photos: Ryan Hashagen)

[Read more…]