by Mya Stark
Imagine ice cream and bicycles—two childhood icons of summer—combined in a new business model with very serious goals. That’s what's going on at Peddler's Creamery, a new sweets haven in Downtown Los Angeles where a purpose-built contraption converts bicycle power into artisan, organic frozen treats for dairy lovers and vegans.
It was one of those ideas that only later seem inevitable—in the tradition of good old "your chocolate in my peanut butter" inventiveness. Founder of Peddler's Creamery, Edward Belden, who grew up working at Baskin-Robbins and went on to get a graduate degree in Environmental Science, was cycling past an ice cream shop when the vision for Peddler's Creamery came to him.
He built a mobile version first as a proof of concept, which debuted at CicLAvia last April. It was so popular that Belden—who had always dreamed of running an ice cream store someday, probably after he retired—decided that "someday" was now. He launched a Kickstarter to found Peddler's Creamery as a Benefit Corporation, where the employees participate in the profits right alongside him, and the "triple bottom line" includes values like sustainability and sourcing local ingredients.
Now he pedals up a few gallons of his creations in the wee hours of the morning before heading off to his job at the National Forest Foundation.
A self-taught chef, Belden's flavor of frozen confection is tuned to the tastes of childhood. Mexican Hot Chocolate's cinnamon burn brings to mind grown-up dark chocolate mixed with irrepressible Red Hots, and the salted caramel is like a deliciously sophisticated version of the syrup and ice cream at the bottom of sundaes you ate after Little League. Experimentalism marks flavors like Carrot Cake & Cream Cheese, which is palpably made with plenty of real shredded carrots. With a mission to be inclusive, non-dairy flavors are abound and even the house-made waffle cones are vegan.
Next steps for Peddler's Creamery include the introduction of bicycle delivery in the Downtown area of Los Angeles.
Images courtesy of Sarah Newby