The fundamental idea behind the creation of the now-global franchise “Wheelys Café” was to have a full-service café that could make absolutely anyone an instant entrepreneur, serving organic and fair-trade coffee while working out in a solar powered bike. Launching in 2014, Wheelys has grown to become an international franchise that is currently in more than 75 different countries worldwide, with more than 800 café’s in operation.
Wheelys was hosted at Y Combinator (the accelerator behind Airbnb, Dropbox, and Reddit) and has been funded by, amongst others, Paul Buchheit (creator of Gmail), Jared Friedman (founder of Scribd), and Justin Waldron (co-founder of Zynga).
Traditional café’s having absurdly high start-up costs, Wheelys offered a solution to the coffee-loving entrepreneurs of the world – a café at a start-up cost of only 3999$ compared to the 500,000$ it costs to start a Starbucks, while also combining the strength of a worldwide brand with local passion.
“We will break the hegemony of the industrial fast food chains, and pave the way for an organic revolution. Helping us to do this is young hungry eco-entrepreneurs from all over the world.”
— Maria De La Croix, Co-founder of Wheelys
The environmental angle was also something that was a huge part of its inception – ensuring that this self-employing kart was at the same time, ecologically conscious. Although the continuation of this environmental practice does vary with every individual owner, the basic practice of having a cart that runs on your own body and the sun, does ensure a very low carbon footprint and, at the very least, an increased awareness of our ecological footprint and the effect we have on the environment.
In short: Making the world better, one pedal at the time!
Wheelys Cafe Official Website: https://wheelyscafe.com/