Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Bikey Bakery D'Amour

When a business logo features a bike front-and-center, especially in Salem, you have to wonder: Is this the sign of something new, of bikes going mainstream?

Gallo came up with the Red Bicyclette brand, but it's got nothing to do with bikes and everything to do with romancing an image of wine and France and the good life.

On the other hand, with everything to do with bikes, is Ft. Collins' New Belgium Brewing Company and their flagship Fat Tire Amber. They sponsor the Tour de Fat and note that "every employee gets a custom cruiser bike after one-year of employment."

So what's the reality behind Bakery D'Amour? Do they love bikes as they love bread?

The business is in a nouveau strip mall off Commercial SE, right behind the French Press, which features sepia tones of the Eiffel Tower. The Francophone cluster made me a worried that it might be strip-mall cute. Unfortunately, there's no outdoor seating at the bakery; their storefront faces the parking lot, and the sidewalk's not that deep. The French Press has outdoor seating, but it is inexplicably on Commercial rather than sheltered by the outrigger building and facing the lot. Oh well.

For starters the bakery has a bike rack! One anyway. It's front-and-center, right by the main entry, in front of a window, and sheltered by a short balcony. You can't miss it! It's great that a business understands where the racks belong. Hopefully parking demand will dictate more racks soon!

On another visit a couple of bicyclists were at an indoors table and declined to use the rack. It seemed they might have been out for a ride, were riding light, and didn't have a lock. Still, the rack provided a cue to place their bikes on the other side of the door, safe within sight!

More interesting, perhaps, is the drive-thru. On the south side of the building is a canopy and drive way. The situation really is perfect for south-bound bike traffic in the evening - pick up a loaf of bread for dinner and put it in your basket or bag!

The matter-of-fact tone? Whether they are taking a cue from Burgerville or not, the lady who took my order didn't bat an eye when I pulled up on bike. Not even to comment on the fact of biking. It was banal and ordinary!

That, my friends, looks like the sign of a bike-friendly business.

This looks like it might be a terrific addition to the South Salem neighborhoods! For reviews of the food, see Eat Salem's notes. Maybe we can get an interview and learn more about the ways bicycling might inform their business...stay tuned!

(And if you're downtown, don't forget about Cascade Baking Company, monthly sponsors of Breakfast on Bikes!)

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