Along with fruit tarts, quinoa cookies, and hippie sandwiches, Maury Rubin spends a lot of time thinking about two-wheeled transportation. When he opened the first branch of Birdbath in 2005, he began offering a 50 percent discount to anyone who traveled to the bakery by bike. Unsurprisingly, the deal caught on quickly, and Rubin further incorporated biking into the bakery’s mantra by swapping delivery vans for bicycle rickshaws. He estimates that the rickshaws (which also account for half of City Bakery’s deliveries) will travel more than 5,000 miles this year.
Now Rubin’s making his commitment even more official: He’s putting a ring on it.
Rubin tells us that Birdbath has entered into a partnership with Bicycle Habitat that makes the latter “the official bicycle shop of Birdbath.” Rubin says the partnership, which he engineered with Bicycle Habitat owner Charlie McCorkell, came about because he wanted a way to get his staff on bikes, “but needed help to do it in an affordable way.” The deal allows the Birdbath and City Bakery staff to get “deep discounts” on BH bikes, and the BH staff to get similar breaks on food.
Rubin hopes to have 20 percent of his staff riding by the end of the year; to further encourage them to mount up, the bakery is subsidizing bike purchases. One assumes that the Bicycle Habitat staff requires no such additional encouragement to consume pastries.