ISSUE 33  |  Summer Cottage

Only in LA: A Pedal-Powered Ice Cream Parlor

August 20, 2014 11:00 AM

BY Christine Chang Hanway

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At Peddler’s Creamery in downtown LA, the employees ride a stationary bicycle as part of their job description. Why? Because the bike is connected to the ice cream churner, and if the employees don’t pedal, the ice cream doesn’t get made. 

Founded by Edward Belden, an eco-conscious bike enthusiast with a passion for small-batch organic ice cream, Peddler’s Creamery started as a one-man, five-gallons-at-a-time operation. When business picked up, Belden was ready for his own ice cream parlor. Enter LA architect Oonagh Ryan (a member of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory), who immediately understood the most compelling aspect of the business: “By placing a stationary bike that’s connected to the ice cream churner in the public portion of the shop, employees and customers produce ice cream by pedaling—reducing the shop’s carbon footprint, getting some exercise, and understanding the process all at the same time.”

Photographs by Eric Staudenmaier, unless otherwise noted.

Above: At Peddler’s Creamery, the stationary bicycle powers the ice cream maker, which is enclosed in the multicolored shingled box, aka the dairy. As employees and customers pedal away, ice cream is churned—and the ceiling sculpture made of bicycle parts is activated.

Above: “Set front and center in the dairy is a little shadow-box window that enables customers to see the ice cream churn in action,” Ryan says. The dairy is clad in brightly painted shingles made from deconstructed wood pallets.

Above: A detail of the kinetic sculpture made of old bicycle parts.

Above: A look at the rainbow of shingles and the shadow-box window. Photograph by Oonagh Ryan Architects.

Above: Inside the dairy, the ice cream is churned in a classic, rock-salt-filled, wooden ice cream maker. Photograph via Cool Hunting.

Above: “We studied several forms for the dairy. In the end, the simple colored box set on a white-tiled bar won,” Ryan says. “The window gives it a little beauty mark.”

Above: The shingles are coated in VOC-free paint, using colors that create a visual connection to the ice cream on display. (To get a handle on eco-friendly paint, read Remodeling 101: All You Need to Know About Low-VOC Paint.) Photograph via Cool Hunting.

Above: Peddler’s Creamery is at 458 S. Main St., in downtown LA (see map below).

Above: The layout of Peddler’s Creamery by Oonagh Ryan Architects.

Above: An axonometric diagram details the relationship of the bicycle, sculpture, and dairy. Drawing by Oonagh Ryan Architects.

Want to make ice cream at home? See 5 Favorites: Fuss-Free Ice Cream Makers. For an inspired city-rustic dining room, see The Modern Farm Table in Sydney. And on Gardenista, goat milk rules in From Goat to Table: Harley Farms on the California Coast.

Peddler’s Creamery is in newly happening downtown Los Angeles.