GREENSBORO — As homebound shoppers turn to grocery delivery, there’s a new service in town with a zero carbon footprint.
It’s grocery delivery on a bicycle.
“We’ve been discussing a lot of different ways we can serve the community. We were looking at a mobile market with bike delivery when the pandemic hit,” said Nicole Villano general manager of Deep Roots Market, a member-owner co-op on North Eugene Street.
She felt now was the time to try out the idea.
“We’ve found that there is a real need. A lot of people really can’t get out,” said Sheldon Herman, a Deep Roots co-op owner and board member.
Herman is also the guy who runs interference for the service.
Herman is a bicycle enthusiast. He owns Bikewalla, a shop that services bikes for people who use them primarily as a way to get around. Herman has been in the bike business for 30 years.
“It’s so much easier to do delivery on a bike as long as you’re in an urban area,” Herman said.
eBike Central, a locally-owned electric bike shop, loaned the bicycle for the service.
“Sheldon and I have been working together to promote ebike use in cities and urban areas,” said Joe Michel, owner of eBike Central.
“I like Deep Roots and what they stand for,” Michel said.
The long red bike is equipped with a cargo area in the front of the handle bars and saddle bags beneath the seat. The electric motor can easily handle small loads as Herman, or one of a handful of volunteers, zooms along streets to make deliveries within a 3-mile radius.
“It’s a lot of fun. The people doing it are really enjoying it,” Herman said.
Herman likes that the bike’s zero emissions fits into the sustainable philosophy of the co-op.
Villano is overwhelmed how the service came together organically.
“This is what cooperatives stand for,” she said. “What a great way to bring together people who want to help and people who need help.”
There is no fee for delivery, which is a benefit to low-income families, some of which qualify for the store’s Low-Income Membership program.
To place an order, become a volunteer to make deliveries, or get information on the co-op, visit www.deeprootsmarket.com or call 336-292-9216.