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Wheelys claims to be world’s fastest-growing café chain

A Swedish coffee shop franchise where each café is powered by solar energy, wind and the barista’s legs has easily surpassed its $100,000 funding goal on Indiegogo. Wheelys, which makes use of pedal-powered café trikes, has raised over $230,000 in 12 days with 14 days of its campaign still to go.

Billing itself as ‘the world’s greenest café,’ Wheelys franchises have now been sold in 50 countries, including the UK.

The trike features a 40W solar panel and an optional windmill, plus a device turning coffee grounds into small soil cubes packed with flower seeds, “which we plant on the way to work. No, we are not kidding!”

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It’s not entirely pedal-powered, however. The vehicle is actually a 250W e-trike. You’d probably need the extra oomph. A micro-café it may be, but that still involves quite a lot of equipment. The bike weighs 100kg unloaded.

If you want to know about the coffee, it’s described as “the best organic coffee imaginable.”

A Wheelys café costs $5,000 to start – a price the firm is keen to set against that of starting a Starbucks franchise, which is apparently $500,000. “This allows a whole new group of people to open a café (you know, the 99% of the population who can’t afford $500,000).”

The BBC reports that the idea for Wheelys was born at the Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery, “a design firm-cum-skunkworks based in Malmö, Sweden.” They’ve been working on the project since 2014, updating the bike and reducing costs such that blue-haired CEO Maria De La Croix now reckons the franchise will pay off in just over a month.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.