Our friends from Action Bicycle Club came to interview Alice and Jeremy about their passion for bikes and how that fits with the business.
Hello Alice and Jeremy. Could you introduce yourselves to our readers and tell them a little about what you do?
Hey everyone, we are Alice and Jeremy and we run Bellbird Bakery, an artisanal bakery located at The Tannery in Woolston. Jeremy set up Bellbird in 2010 as a weekend project making croissants and Danishes for the Riccarton Farmers Market. Last year we expanded our retail offerings so Alice – a trained chef – joined full time to run that side of things.
What got you into the bakery business and what’s different about Bellbird?
The idea behind Bellbird is basically to focus on products that take time, skill and good ingredients, to offer people great handmade bread and pastries that are a step above the commodity produced by industrial bakeries. All our products are made by humans who are working hard to approach perfection in their craft.
Tell us about your interest in bicycles and how that is relevant or intersects with your business.
We are fans of efficiency, sustainable living and human enterprise. Cycling ticks all the boxes, plus it is fun!
Do you encourage bike riding with customers and staff and have you found there are any economical benefits to that?
There is definite health benefits to cycling that may translate to economic benefits in the long run. Personally we don’t own a car so that makes things cheaper.
We have set up a loyalty scheme to encourage our customers to bike to the bakery. Each time they come by bike, they get a stamp and after 6 stamps they get a free croissant.
For the last two years Bellbird also participated in the Aotearoa Bike Challenge as a company, which involves encouraging our staff to cycle to work. We came in 2nd for a company of our size in Christchurch.
You’re now also an owner of a RAPID cargo bike. Can you share with our readers why you choose to invest in a cargo bike?
On the bakery side of things we wanted a way to move stuff around that didn’t involve purchasing a second delivery van. The bike is great for errands around the CBD, and it’s nice to promote the business while we do that. On a personal level, we enjoy to go shopping with the cargo bike. We find it more convenient and fun to use than a car, and often faster too!
Do you see a future for businesses and bikes and what could you suggest to business owners looking to adapt their traditional business model?
There is definitely a lot of opportunities for businesses to step up their game in terms of sustainable transport. Cargo bikes are a great way to lower your carbon footprint while appealing to your customers. A growing part of the population cares about the way businesses choose to deal with climate change.