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Bicycle Friendly Bakeries
Some things pair particularly well with riding bicycles. Beer. Coffee. Baked goods.
Each pairing has historic and contemporary traditions based in the practical and the pleasurable. It’s not just the sugar, carbs and caffeine that fuel us. Riding to or stopping at a pub, café or bakery feeds our spirits and connects us to a bicycling zeitgeist that stretches across the centuries.
As it turns out, brewers, baristas and bakers not only cater to bicyclists, often they are bicyclists. So, it’s only natural to welcome two wonderful bakeries to the League of American Bicyclists’ growing list of Bicycle Friendly Businesses (BFB)!
Pattycake Bakery/P-Cake All-Stars Cooperative in Columbus, OH (Silver BFB) and Karen's Bakery & Café in Folsom, CA (Bronze BFB) don’t only prepare and serve delicious treats, these BFBs are dedicated to supporting bicycle advocacy in their communities.
“We’ve sponsored the women's cycling team Lady Gnar Shredders since it formed and we’ve been a sponsor of the Ohio Women's Bicycling Summit from its first year on. Last year we also sponsored the annual LGBT Pride Bike Ride and hosted a stop for the event. We have sponsored and hosted the women's ride, 2 Wheels and Heels. We want to encourage everyone to bike!” says Pattycake/P-Cake All-Stars Cooperative worker/owner Sarah Bryant.
“Karen’s Bakery has supported Diva Night, an annual celebration for women of all things bicycling. It was put on for nearly 10 years by Bicycles Plus Bike Shop and we are working with the new bike shop that replaced them to create a new cycling event to replace Diva Night.” says Karen's Bakery & Café, owner and namesake, Karen Holmes.
We had the opportunity to speak with Sarah and Karen to find out more about the key ingredients that go into these delectable BFBs.
What are your baking roots?
Sarah Bryant: My grandparents always had candy or baked goods for me when I visited. Later I started baking for friends and co-workers — especially after going vegan — because there were so few vegan treats available. Then, before I became a Pattycake worker/owner I was a frequent customer.
Karen Holmes: My mother was Danish. In Denmark, everybody bakes. We’d say I learned to bake at the school of my mom’s knee.
What about your bicycling and or bicycle advocacy roots?
SB: I’ve been car-free for eight years, so having better bicycle infrastructure and laws to protect bicyclists matte0rs to me. I’m out there riding every day and I want to feel safe.
KH: Another part of being Danish is that everybody bikes. In Folsom, the community has embraced cycling. We have 57 miles of bike trails. Our city council has gotten bridges, paths, user-friendly facilities built. I’m on our local BFB Board and members suggested that Karen’s Bakery apply as a BFB, so we did. One of the gentlemen from that board helped me fill out the application.
What’s the bicycling-bakery connection?
SB: One of our goals is to be the most environmentally friendly business we possibly can, and to encourage other businesses to do the same. That’s why we decided to make all of our inner city wholesale deliveries by bike and trailer.
KH: Cyclists find us, and on weekends especially, there are many. Our first location was really tiny. It sat 14 people! I remember sending an employee across the street to the hardware store to buy 10 plastic chairs so the cyclists could sit down outside.
We moved to a bigger location near the American River Bike Trail and next door to a local bike shop. Now the Amgen Tour of California comes right past the bakery. I didn’t plan for our bakery and bicycling to be so symbiotic, but that’s exactly what happened.
What treats at your bakery do bicyclists tend to particularly enjoy?
SB: Our most popular cookie is the Classic Tollhouse, a chocolate chip cookie with organic walnuts. Cyclists like the co-op chocolate cherry bar because it comes sealed in a clear compostable bag and won’t crumble as they ride.
KH: it depends. Some have a coffee and a bran muffin. But sometimes, they’re like, “I rode all that way, I’m having a cinnamon bun!”
What kinds of things can business owners do to support bicycling in their communities?
SB: It’s easy to donate treats or host bike rides for women and community events to show our support — like we do for Columbus’s annual 2 Wheels and Heels and the LGBT Pride Bike Ride. Posting about bicycling initiatives on social media is also a great way to spread the word.
What would your ideal bicycle ride and bakery experience look like?
KH: Easy. Pedaling through the Danish countyside with a mid-way bakery stop for lunch. If there’s champagne, that would make it perfect.
Congratulations and thank you to Pattycake/P-cake All-Stars Cooperative and Karen’s Bakery & Café for making the world a bit sweeter for bicyclists.