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Peddler's Creamery: The Bike That Churns, Pedals, and Peddles Ice Cream

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Edward Beldon uses man power to churn ice cream on the back of his modified cruiser tricycle (Photo credit: Krista Simmons)
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Angelenos, and the rest of the world for that matter, have become obsessed with mobile food culture. Food trucks open and close at an exhausting pace, and there's nary a niche that hasn't been explored by the gourmet road stoves. Or so we thought, until we found a post card at a local pizzeria for Peddler's Creamery. What sparked our interest is not so much that this ice-creamery is mobile; it's that the energy exerted on the bike actually powers an old-fashioned churn that produces scoops.

Mobile creameries aren't new to LA, of course, with the existence of CoolHaus and the Locali Ice-cycle. But we couldn't help but be curious about Edward Belden's custom-designed, cruiser-style tricycle. Naturally, we requested a ride along.

We outfitted owner and L.A.-native Edward Belden with our iPhone voice recorder and a headset, hopped on our bike, and were on our way. His tricked-out trike creaked and cranked as we rode through the streets of Little Tokyo towards the Arts District. Countless suits on their lunch break slowed to admire the baby blue contraption. Some stopped us, including a couple of curious bicycle cops. "When are you opening? And where?" they'd ask. "Hopefully the Historic Core, sometime later this summer," Belden would answer, breezing by.

As we turned left onto the Spring Street's green lane, Belden spoke about the inspiration for his bespoke business.

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(Photo credit: Krista Simmons)
"I've always been really interested in sustainability and trying to find ways to reduce impact, so this was kind of a natural progression. The goal of the shop is to reduce my footprint as much as possible," he says, the sound of mariachi music wafting through the Downtown air. "The churning process is one way, but so is servicing an area where people can ride their bikes and being close to major transit. There's also the organic ingredients, and using cones and containers that are edible and biodegradable. At the shop itself we going for a LEED certified space to see where that can go."

In addition, Belden will be running his bespoke business as a B Corporation, a new classification that bridges the gap between nonprofit and for profit businesses. He will be donating 5% of all profit to various nonprofits, as well as donating to some of the producers who support his business, like the fair trade Dominican Republic farmers that he sources chocolate from.

He's strategically hoping to open Peddler's Creamery in the Historic Core district of Downtown.

"I've always had a huge draw to Downtown. It's been exciting to see this place grow and thrive, and I want to be a part of that," he says. "There's a great cycling community, and there's a great bicycling infrastructure being built in LA, and it's starting in Downtown LA first."

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Peddler's will likely implement a bike corral at the space to encourage cyclists to ride to the shop. And though the cycle is currently being used as a vehicle to create awareness, eventually it will be parked in the brick-and-mortar location of Peddlar's Creamery. As an interactive element, both guests and staff will power the production of the ice cream.

Peddler's will offer a variety of dairy and non-dairy ice creams, including chocolate chili, salted caramel, Thai iced tea, chocolate banana -- all made from organic and locally-sourced ingredients where possible. They'll also serve sorbets featuring local farmers market produce, like the piquant but refreshing kumquat with flecks of zest or the sweet and herbaceous strawberry basil sorbets.

If you'd like to get a taste of what Peddler's is pushing, head over to Bike Night at the Hammer this Thursday at 7 p.m. Belden is also serving samples at Xlixie Pizzeria in Little Tokyo, so check their Twitter for updates.