A Yuba Spicy Curry cargo bike has been seen riding around the Melbourne area decked out with custom loaf-carrying side panniers and some enthusiastic kiddos! Yuba Bicycles recently got in touch with Maude and Neil of Dougharty Baker to learn a little more about their sustainably powered Spicy Curry breadmobile – and the community bakery that it represents.
Who is Dougharty Baker?
“We run a little sourdough microbakery from the back room of our house in Melbourne, Australia. Maude does the baking (sometimes with help from her sourdough obsessed Dad) and Neil does the deliveries, and our two kids eat lots of buns and come along for the ride!”
So, How Did It Start?
“We started the business with the help of crowdfunding at the start of this period when Maude lost a lot of her freelance work. Sourdough bread has been a long passion, and it was something we realized our community needed at that time. The crowdfunding covered the cost of a specialty oven and the fit-out of our back room as a council-approved bakery.”
Let’s Talk Sustainability!
“Neil works as an engineer in solar research and development, so we love renewable energy! The bakery is powered by our home solar system, and we initially delivered all our bread in our little electric vehicle (EV), charged off this system. We have a very local focus, so realized early on we could replace most of our EV deliveries with an EB (electric bike).”
Here Comes the Breadmobile!
“There are quite a few families on our street with Spicy Curry cargo bikes, so we knew that was going to be on our menu. We love the low center of gravity, it just feels so stable, and the cargo Add-Ons are perfect for us. And I think seeing these two noisy little kids singing and waving from the back of our Breadmobile bike has brought a lot of joy to our customers and local community during lockdowns. And the kids too – they love the bike – it is now their preferred mode of transport to get anywhere.”
“Our local council (Banyule, in Melbourne’s north east) started up a program of grants for businesses that either started or pivoted during this time. We fit the bill and applied for one to buy the bike and fit it out with custom delivery panniers which Neil designed and built using lightweight materials, perfectly sized to our loaves. We also made sure the panniers could be carried on the bike with one or two kids! We’re in Melbourne, the most locked down city on earth, so we’ve had kids at home for over 200 days. Being able to take them on our delivery rounds has been a lifesaver. We just couldn’t do it with them in a car.”
In addition to being sustainably sun-powered, Maude and her family bakery embody the community values that Yuba loves to support. Utilizing locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, they pride themselves on being “gardeners and local food enthusiasts” who make their bread “with heart and soul, with the health and wellbeing of our community in mind.” They explain it simply on their website:
“We aim to keep our batches small and our focus local to make our community more self-sufficient and give y’all an opportunity for connection to food.”
Having now traveled over 400 km – about 250 miles – by Spicy Curry, Maude says that what’s surprised her the most is how pleasant deliveries have become. “It’s actually a pleasure to do them rather than a chore.” She hopes that as her kids grow, she will have more time to enjoy them. It’s her partner, Neil, who gets to have most of the fun as of now! Daugharty Baker’s delivery has turned into more than your average bread drop-off – it’s a sustainable family adventure.
The future for Dougharty Baker seems to be in good hands. A pair of inspiring bakers (aka Maude’s 2 year old daughter and niece) “love eating buns and playing chefs.” Growing alongside the bakery, these two girls are learning and enjoying sustainable practices and community engagement. What an incredible environment to foster!
The Breadmobile – Yuba Spicy Curry
Explore the long-tail bike that is made for big loads and wiggly kids.