Bikes for Business: La Grotta Ices

La Grotta Ices

March 14, 2023

Cargo bikes are a great alternative to travelling around, making deliveries, picking up orders and even more. But what about transporting ice cream and sorbets?

Kitty Travers, (listed in Coco’s 100 Contemporary Chefs) Founder of creative ice cream company, La Grotta Ices, does just that. Based in South London, Kitty was recently looking to purchase a cargo bike for her business to deliver her delectable treats as well as use it to pick up her own business orders and ingredients.

Find out more about how Kitty got involved in Bikes for Business and how it’s made an impact on how she transports her goods, picks up her deliveries and even recycles old packaging.

Who are La Grotta Ices and what do you do?

La Grotta Ices launched in 2007, and I make all my dairy and plant-based ice creams, granitas, handmade choc ices and sorbets in my workshop in Elephant and Castle. I use fresh fruit and natural ingredients for all of my confections and I make all my deliveries from my workshop.

What did you use before to make your deliveries and collections?

Before I got my new cargo bike I tried out a few different ways to do my deliveries, using bikes, cars or even taxis. When La Grotta Ices first launched I had a tiny three-wheeler pick up truck, which I kitted out to do deliveries, but it became too difficult to transport lots of items. Plus, as the bike was quite big, I had to have a garage to store it in which was based in a congestion zone, so I had to pay the congestion fee. It didn’t turn out as useful as I thought it would be.

I then used a post office type bike for deliveries and collecting ingredients, but sometimes it was too cold to cycle or I had too much to deliver / ingredients to collect, so I had to use may car. But, then my car would often get stuck in traffic and my deliveries would end up late.

It was actually my neighbour who has a cargo bike that made me think about using one for my business, he said they were amazing to use!

How did you hear about Bikes for Business?

A friend of mine who lives close by picked up a Bikes for Business flyer from The Blue, Bermondsey, and so I gave the team a call. They helped me find a cargo bike that would suit my needs and I ended up buying a Tern GSD cargo bike.

How has a cargo bike helped your business?

It’s given me so much flexibility and freedom. Before I had to plan my deliveries in advance and work out how I was going to pick up my own orders and drop off my recycling, and that meant that I could only do deliveries once a week. My cargo bike carries everything I need and I can do my deliveries when my customers need them really quickly and get back to my business.

It’s also helped me with buying produce. I can now go and get the ingredients and get the amount I need rather than having deliveries sent to my workshop, as I have to order larger amounts for delivery opposed to being able to pick up what I need.

What advice would you give to other businesses hesitant to buying a cargo bike?

Having a cargo bike is a really good alternative to having a car – you can do pretty everything you want on a carog bike that you’d normally use a car for. They’re a really viable option, and if you’re not sure, you could even look at sharing one with another business if you wanted to spread the cost.

Get in contact

If you’re based in SE1, SE16 or SE17 and would like to find out more about getting up to £1,500 in subsidies towards your own cargo bike or up to 50% off a trial with a cargo bike courier, contact our team today at bikesforbusiness@mpsmartertravel.co.uk or call us on 0207 960 2553. Alternatively, if you’d like to contact us to implement your own cargo bike project, contact us at info@mpsmartertravel.co.uk.

Keep in touch with La Grotta Ices on their Instagram page or try making your own ice cream with Kitty’s book, La Grotta Ices, published by Penguin Books.