Davis is one of America's best bike cities. Bikes are everywhere. That may be why Alex Roth rides an old Schwinn for a living. He's the "Pepper Peddler."
Roth used to roast peppers and never changed the company name. On his rickety stationary bike, with the assist of propane, Roth pedal-powers a giant steel drum. Inside, coffee beans roast. A low cost, environmentally friendly way to run a coffee business.
How Davis is this?
Roth described his roasting drum as a "glorified dryer. Clothes dryer, basically. Tumbling the coffee in there."
Roth has been peddling coffee behind an industrial warehouse for eight years. He sublets a small space from a bakery to save money.
Tuesday is roasting night. For three hours Roth will pedal 200 pounds of raw green beans into various roasts ready to grind. Thursday is delivery day to homes and businesses in Davis. Sacramento too. By train.
"I take AMTRAK out to Sac for deliveries and bike from there and continually bump into people who know about the product and that's one of the most rewarding things," Roth said.
The Pepper Peddler - coffee peddler - rides the train to Sacramento with his bike and puts in another 15-20 miles delivering his Peruvian La Florida blend in Mason jars.
He'd love to expand from the back of a bakery into, say, San Francisco and Palo Alto. Coffee lovers seem to be drawn to the unique way the coffee is roasted and delivered by bike.
"I do limited shipping, that's mainly like my mom and some family members, and what not," Roth said.
He keeps it basic. More of a passion than a way to get rich, but the chemistry major from UC Davis is riding a unique way to stand out in a crowded coffee world.
SOURCE: NEWS 10 ABC