Wheelys has come a long way from its first "ecological café bike" and is now setting its sights on food trucks with a new range of food modules.
The Wheelys bicycle cafés keep getting better and better, and while the basic original model, at $3000, offered a low-cost way to own your own mobile coffee shop, the latest version allows owners to add crêpes, juices, ice cream, and more to their menu, and to still get into the café business for a fraction of the price of a brick and mortar shop.
We first covered the Wheelys about two years ago, when the folks at the Nordic Society For Invention and Discovery (NSID) were looking to jumpstart the production of their mini coffee shop on a cargo bike. We took another look at the idea again this past spring, when Wheelys added a slew of green features to the bikes, and now, with more than 500 Wheelys operating in over 60 countries around the world, this high tech mobile café just got another upgrade with seven new food modules to choose from.
The new Wheelys will be available with modules for drip coffee, Turkish coffee, espresso, nitro coffee, fresh juice, crêpes, and ice cream, and the company is said to be developing additional modules for future upgrades. This means that instead of just offering brewed coffee and some baked goods, owners can sell their customers a wider range of 'fast food' wherever they're parked that day, or different items at different times of the day.
Here's a look at the new Wheelys:
The Wheelys 5 Open Source model is a bit more expensive than previous versions, but at $5900 USD (early bird price), it's still so much cheaper than owning a conventional café, and won't lock you into any long-term contracts, leases, or physical locations, so you're free to set up when and where you can, and the only ongoing cost is the $199 USD monthly franchise fee (which covers a range of benefits, including branding, discounted supplies, support, advertising, workshops, and more).
The new bicycle café is packed full of features that will make running a mobile food bike smooth, including an electric motor, solar power, a sign, a gas stove, an espresso brewer, an air purifier, LED lighting, a roof, a speaker for tunes, WiFi, running water, a sink, smart displays, and more. The stove can run on biogas, the coffee grounds are intended to be recycled into soil cubes, and the company asks that only 100% fair trade and organic coffee be sold, and that at least 60% of the pastries and other food sold from the bikes be organic.
"Wheelys is run by the sun and the wind. And since you will run the gas stove on bio fuel, as we recommend, and recycle the coffee grounds, it’s actually carbon negative.
To top this off, Wheelys turns used coffee grounds into small nutritious soil. Cubes packed with flower seeds which we plant here and there on the way to work, no kidding.
In conclusion; It’s so friendly to the planet that animals will stop you in the street and in non-verbal ways ask you to fornicate with them! (Don’t! It’s illegal.)"
According to the reports from some of Wheelys' happy customers, owners can expect to see profits of around $113 USD per hour (obviously, that will varys by location and owner), with some Wheelys bike café owners reporting sales of $1500 in a single day. At that rate, paying off the cost of the bike won't take long at all, and considering the huge difference in costs between running a standard café and a mobile one, it could be a great green business opportunity. If you're interested, be sure and read through all of the info available on the Wheelys website, and then head over to the Indiegogo campaign page and learn more about what to do next.