To the friends, supporters, and customers of Cycles Delivery, LLC,
We want to begin by expressing our warmest thanks to the NYU Reynolds Program and Youth Venture for the grand prize award in the "Be a Changemaker Challenge." After ten months of hard work and dedication and with the help of so many incredible mentors and supporters, we have turned our idea for a bicycle-run delivery service from urban farmers markets into a reality. In September 2009, after months of struggling to carry our purchases home from the Union Square Greenmarket, we realized the demand for a sustainable delivery service from the market. Our goal was to increase support for local organic farmers and their environmentally sustainable practices. Today, we have transformed Cycles Delivery into a fully licensed Limited Liability Company, with everything from a custom-designed delivery tricycle to the proper insurance, legal representation, and volunteer network to help us succeed.
We are writing to share a story with you of the recent roadblock in Cycles' development. Last month, when we entered the Union Square Greenmarket to launch our service, we found that another bicycle-run delivery service, "From Earth to Kitchen," had just begun operating. We were undeterred by this until we found out that they had known about us and made a deliberate attempt to start two days before we did. Our bicycle designer told us that From Earth to Kitchen had requested that he build bikes for them before finishing ours. While we structured Cycles as a profitable business, our main goal has always been to increase support for sustainable farmers. To be treated as competitors by a group of people who claim to share this goal was disheartening.
Despite this, we began offering deliveries in Union Square for the month of June. However, it has become increasingly difficult for us to continue. Because the owner of From Earth to Kitchen has worked at a previously existing stand for several years, he has significant influence in the market. Many vendors said that they could not send us customers because they did not want to hurt their business relationship with the owner of From Earth to Kitchen. We recognize that it's impossible for Cycles to support the farmers in the market if they are afraid to send us customers.
Despite our roadblock, Cycles is still pedaling through. We are not unaccustomed to challenges- we began with no business experience, no money, and no connections, and we've made it this far already. We're not going to stop now. We have found a new farmers market to work with and are very excited to begin running Cycles there. We've learned from our past experiences and are holding off on publishing the name of the new market until all of the details are worked out, but we will post updates on our Facebook, Twitter, and website as soon as we can. Please check back soon for more information and thank you so much for all of your support.
Ashley & Michelle