Out of Work Chef + Cargo Bike= New Green Business
Losing his job in one of the worst job markets in recent memory just meant Ian Richie had to think outside of the (lunch) box.
He began by delivering homemade soup to friends using his cargo bicycle and cooler and has added customers every week.
The name of his business is SoupByCycle.
Pedaling while Peddling Soup
Ian has created a job for himself that combines two of his loves: cycling and cooking. He says that starting his own business is among five of his greatest accomplishments and he hopes that the model he has created will help pave the way for more pedal-powered jobs in his community. So far, several children have approached him and shared that they want to grow up to be a “soup bike guy” – sounds like a great start!
Rory Woods: What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment?
Ian Ritchey: Well, aside from my wonderful family, starting my own business is up there in the top 5 greatest accomplishments
RW: What’s the strangest reaction you’ve had?
IR: After awhile, it just adds up to a list of everyday statements:
“Boy, you must really be in shape…”
“Those are the sexiest calves I’ve ever seen! May I touch them?”
“Do you really pedal while peddling soup?”
“How many miles?”
“You do what?”
…and in one extreme instance, a young driver pulled a gun on me. I guess he and his little buddies thought it would be OK to throw a soda bottle and yell some crazy stuff at me as they passed… only to be caught at the light 1.5 blocks away. I was going to pass and keep on going, but they had some more yelling to do. So, I got off my bike walked over and asked what was up? More crazy comments and a gun to my face.
I got the plate, called the cops, filed a report…..and the cop said, “Sorry Mr. Ritchie, there really isn’t anything we can do for you, but….here is the info from the plates.”
RW: Have you inspired transformation in anyone else’s life?
IR: I’ve had a couple kids come up and tell me that when they grow up they want to be a “soup bike guy”. Other than that, I hope that people will think a little more about sustainable foods, supporting local economies, grabbing their helmet more often over the car keys, sharing the road just a wee bit more and other stuff like that.
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