Laurie Featherstone offers delivery service by bike in Toronto. She will be delivering dandyhorse's new issue on July 3 to our sponsor bike shops.
Checking in with Featherstone Two Wheels Green Delivery
New issue of dandyhorse in shops July 3!
Featherstone Two Wheels Green Delivery is a unique bike delivery service run by fellow dandy Laurie Featherstone. While most delivery services rely on motor vehicles to transport merchandise, Laurie manages a smaller-scale but very effective equivalent that challenges these norms. That's why dandyhorse magazine is proud to have Laurie deliver our magazine. Issue 12 of dandyhorse will be delivered by bike on July 3 to Urbane, Sweet Pete's, Bikes on Wheels and Hoopdriver.
You can order a single issue of to be mailed to your door here.
Laurie's bike delivery business has grown over the years and her gear has recently been updated to include an e-assist. We've featured Laurie in past dandy stories, but we thought we'd check in with her again to find out about her upgrades and what's up in the cargo bike delivery scene in Toronto.
Tell us a bit about your company.
My company name is Featherstone Two Wheels Green Delivery. I think I may shorten it as hardly anyone can remember the entire name. I'm thinking, Featherstone Bike Delivery. I deliver year-round and have grown the business from very part-time work to full-time hours. I enjoy seeing the city wake up and being in the midst of its bustling masses, and I have friendly customers so I get to talk to nice people. I have always enjoyed the outdoors and never tire of the feel of gliding when you stop pedalling.
Do you do all the deliveries yourself?
Yes. I have had a few people help me with contract jobs in past, but right now I find working on my own is a good fit. It suits my philosophy of keeping things simple. I would like to network more so I could have temporary help with distribution jobs that come up. If anyone has an interest in helping out, please contact me at: twowheelsgreendelivery.com/contact.html
What inspired you to launch Featherstone Two Wheels Green Delivery?
A friend actually suggested I try a contract job where I could sell sprouts at several local farmers markets, and since the job ad encouraged bike delivery, he thought it was a good match for me. He was right! It was a great summer, it helped me meet some future new customers that were vendors at the markets and I got some experience delivering stuff with the bike and trailer.
Are your deliveries same-day?
My service helps businesses that have regular route deliveries, that are done on specific days, consistently. I am not an on-call delivery service. I do accommodate my oldest customers with on-call and they know to email or phone the day before to set up a time for the next day.
Where in the city do you pick up and during what hours?
My area extends from the Junction to Church, south of Davenport and north of King. I do have a route delivery in the east end around the Danforth, and I really like delivering to those neighbourhoods on the quiet streets. I try to deliver between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. I generally do not deliver on weekends but sometimes help with events.
Any favourite route suggestions for the busy commuter?
I would have to say the separated lanes of Richmond and Adelaide are a great way to get across a good section of the congested downtown with ease. Otherwise my favourite regular bike lanes are Annette and Shaw - although Shaw is in need or re-surfacing in a major way. My recommendation is to really study the side streets and use those that connect to bike lanes, I use streets like Palmerston or Markham to go north and south quite a bit.
What new updates have been made to your gear?
In 2014 I got a new bike and a Tony's heavy duty trailer from Mill Bay, BC. Plus I purchased a Bionx e-assist. All this was possible through a crowdfunding project that exceeded its goal by 25 per cent.
What do you ride?
My current ride is a Fuji steel touring bike.
What does your typical delivery day look like?
Most days I start at 8 a.m., and I usually have a break late morning so I can go home for lunch and a re-charge. I go back out mid-day and try to wrap things up by 5 p.m.
Do you see cargo bike delivery becoming more popular in the future?
I do see bike delivery becoming more the norm. I think people realize that riding a cargo bike or bike and trailer to either deliver some goods for their business or household will save them money and time -- and it provides important stress relief by exercising.
You deliver for some very interesting organizations, could you tell us a bit about some of them?
Most of my customers are from the local food world, Forbes Wild Foods was my first customer they are all about foraging and building relationships with the indigenous peoples of Canada. Owl and Goose make delicious green smoothies, I deliver in the morning all through the Roncesvalles neighbourhood. Coffeecology are my biggest customer; we delivery organic fair-trade fresh roasted coffee right to people's doors. Earth and City are a vegan business. I carry all sorts of vegan goodness to coffee shops and cafes throughout the downtown core. It is motivating to help out another small business with the delivery part of their operation. I also enjoy delivering dandyhorse to the best bike shops in town - of course!
Anything else you'd like to add?
My main new project with my business is to establish a mobile advertising service. I have a large side panel that attaches to the trailer, and I travel around 50 km a day all over the city. I want to offer monthly advertising space for other small businesses, starting with my current customers.
Thanks to dandyhorse for caring so much about the cycling community and providing such a creative online and paper magazine!
Well, thank YOU Laurie Featherstone for delivering our magazine with such care and great customer service.
As of July 3 YOU can get dandyhorse's new "equity" issue for FREE at these fine bike shops: Urbane Cyclist, Bikes on Wheels, Sweet Pete's and Hoopdriver. Steam Whistle will also have limited supplies. dandyhorse is available for sale at these fine independent book stores in Toronto too. You can buy dandyhorse online here.
Stay tuned to the dandyBLOG for more news about our new issue -- coming to your favourite bike or book shop IN ONE WEEK!
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