Bikeables

LOCAL SHOUT OUT

If you’ve ever wanted to send a friend a gift that was unique, save time grocery shopping, or just generally can get behind the idea of having beer delivered to your doorstep, you should get to know Bikeables. Bikeables is in the business of delivering high quality, fairly traded, healthy products to people with a zero footprint target. They connect local vendors to customers, and make it easier for you to buy your favourite fresh, organic, and local goods.

Meet Justin, he’s the founder of Bikeables and Coffeecology, and he’s talking about why he chose Hamilton to start his business.

Currently Delivering: *The only Collective Arts’ monthly subscription box, as well as most of their core beers.

About your Establishment: We launched Bikeables.com in September of 2016. We are an online grocery store that focuses on local, healthy and sustainable products. We deliver by cargo bike and offer free delivery 3-days a week in downtown Hamilton. We also offer delivery in Ancaster, Dundas and Hamilton Mountain one day a week. Our goal is to make it easier for people to eat local, organic food, while providing a service that is both economically and environmentally sustainable. Oh yeah, we also deliver local craft beer and wine..

Do you live in Hamilton? How long have you resided here?

Yes, my wife (Rachel) and I live in the North End. I grew up in a small town (Caledonia) just outside of Hamilton. I moved out west about 10 years ago and split my time between the Yukon and British Columbia. I met my wife in BC and we moved back to Hamilton about 2 years ago. We love living in Hamilton – the energy and community support in this city is unreal. I really think it is in its prime right now.

How did you become a small business owner or manager?

I got my start with Coffeecology, a local coffee roasting company that roasts fresh, organic, fair trade coffee for some local coffee shops in Hamilton and Toronto. We also have an online subscription service, and bike deliver fresh-roasted, mason-jarred coffee on a weekly basis to customers’ homes in Hamilton and Toronto. We have been in business for about 4 years now.

Where does your inspiration come from for Bikeables?

I guess it comes from two sources. For one, people love fresh made food/goods, and if it can be conveniently delivered right to your door, that’s a bonus. We first saw this with Coffeecology; our home delivery subscription service really grew from simple word of mouth in Hamilton and Toronto. To date, we have never done any real formal marketing. Given that success, we figured if people love fresh roasted coffee delivered to their door, then they would likely want other products like fresh baked bread, granola, produce, beer, wine, etc. delivered as well. The other inspiration is that we (our team) are strong believers of supporting local, small business. It’s not always easy, as you are often forced to drive or travel across the city to all your favourite local shops to get all your groceries. If we can remove that step by allowing our customers to easily order online, and then conveniently deliver goods to their door, they are more likely to support local businesses, and we feel have done our job. Hamilton is on the exponential rise of the bar/restaurant/artisanal industry.

What does being part of this Hamilton scene mean to you?

Yeah, it is pretty exciting to see all of the restaurants opening up downtown! We are working on an on-demand ordering system to be launched in Spring, 2017. We are very excited and grateful to be a part of the thriving food scene. There is such a great entrepreneurial community and spirit here in Hamilton, and we can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

What is Hamilton’s biggest opportunity?

Hmm…that’s a tough question. I think Hamilton is poised to really come out of its shell in the coming years. From the new restaurant industry explosion, to a thriving music scene, as well as the obvious health sciences and service industry, there is a lot to be excited about. I think it’s also important to not forget Hamilton’s history and what built this city, and that was manufacturing. There have been some analogies made comparing Hamilton with Pittsburgh, PA which has its roots in the steel and manufacturing industry, but has gone through a pretty impressive revitalization in recent years. We should probably try to take some lessons from what they have experienced.

I guess I don’t have a great answer other than working to create balance between these industries and support a strong middle class. We also really need to a strong public transit system, bike lanes (obvious plug) and make sure this city stays walkable as development continues.

What do you do to relax?

Rachel and I like to spend time walking our dog (Stevie) in Bayfront Park. We also try to spend lots of time hanging with family and friends on the weekends. I play hockey a couple days a week and go rock climbing at gravity during the winter to keep me sane..;)

If anyone deserves a night out, it would definitely be YOU. Where do you go for a night on the town in Hamilton?

Hmm, two spots. If we are just looking for a bite to eat and a beer then I love “Work” on James St. North. Doesn’t hurt it’s just a few blocks down the street from our place. We also love catching a live show at “The Casbah”.

Collective Arts prides ourselves in a variety of different styles of beers, so what would you say would be the best Collective Arts beer pairing?

Alright, it sounds weird, but your “Pumpkin Saison” is really good. Pair that with any one of Donut Monster Donuts, and it’s a done deal. Another favourite is any Collective Arts beer with “Picards” sour cream and onion peanuts…they take a perfectly healthy snack and turn it unhealthy, but it’s so good!

Do you have a favourite Collective Arts beer?

It’s a toss up between “Stash” and “Ransack the Universe”, just depends what mood im in. Hamilton has always been a hub for the best live music.

Do you have a favourite live music venue since you’ve been in Hamilton?

Probably “The Casbah” – I have seen so many good shows there over the years.

Follow Justin and Bikeables on Instagram @bikeables, or head over to bikeables.com and place an order!

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