Blend Café is an urban coffee and bike store based in Mt Eden Road, Auckland. Its owners, Sarah and Drew Duff-Dobson, are passionate about cycling in style and their catalogue covers the most stylish of accessories.
For Get Active Month Sarah and Drew share their love for cycling and why it’s important to New Zealand.
Do you or your staff ride?
We have a coffee and urban bike store in Mt Eden Road, Auckland, called Blend. Our store was inspired by both of us enjoying cycling, especially in cities, and we both ride urban and road bikes.
Do you encourage cycling as part of your business?
We certainly do! We have free ride bikes that people can take out for a spin to see how they feel. Where we can, we support organised urban cycling events – there are so many fun ones now in Auckland including Bike Raves, Sunday Best Rides, Frocks on Bikes and Vintage Best Dressed. We are regular stall holders at Silo Markets on a Friday night with the goal of increasing awareness and normalising urban riding in Auckland. We also celebrate #friding by offering anyone who comes into our store on a Friday coffee for $2.
What do you see as the economic, health and environmental values in riding?
The economic, health and environmental impacts are all huge. Economic – we can easily stop off at stores and coffee shops/cafés to shop and eat. No ridiculous parking fees and it’s a great time saver when I am doing appointments in the city. From a health perspective, as well as the obvious “move more” – which allows me that cake in the afternoon guilt free – it is so much more uplifting to be cycling and moving, rather than sitting in Auckland traffic!
What do you think needs to happen for New Zealand to become more bike friendly?
The biggest thing we hear from people is that they don’t feel safe enough to cycle. The impact protected cycle ways have had is massive. They motivate many people to overcome their nervousness and to give cycling a go! We’ve also noticed that they encourage parents to ride alongside their children in a safe environment. Once their cycle confidence increases they then go on to cycle other areas of the city.