Mike Cashion, owner of Peddl, takes a passenger for a ride. Photo by Christine Carignan.
As warmer weather finally arrives, signs of summer in NH are everywhere—ice cream stands have reopened, and farmers markets are drawing crowds. And a new business is hoping to become a fixture of the summer season in Manchester as Peddl hits the streets ferrying people around the city by pedicab.
Peddl was launched in September by owner and operator Mike Cashion, who has helped other entrepreneurs launch businesses as manager of operations and communication with incubator and business accelerator Alpha Loft, part of the NH Tech Alliance.
Cashion’s new pedicab company launched after he submitted the idea to Elizabeth and Jeremy Hitchcock’s #CrazyMHTIdea initiative, which funds business ventures that will “liven up” Manchester. (Jeremy helped to found Dyn, a DNS provider acquired by Oracle, and Elizabeth has partnered with others to open The Bookery, a downtown bookstore, and is revitalizing a mill building into apartments.)
“Manchester has a lot of potential,” Cashion says, pointing to the mix of entertainment venues, universities, nightlife, and the volume of residents who are game to try something new.
This is why the Hitchcocks helped finance the purchase of his pedicab and provided guidance for launching this unique business venture, Cashion says, including helping him navigate tricky logistics such as acquiring the necessary licensure and certification, as well as securing insurance for his unique mode of transportation.
Cashion and his pedicab draw curious looks as he peddles up to three passengers around the downtown, Millyard and ballpark districts.
Passengers can book a ride through Peddl’s website, or catch Cashion parked in front of The Bookery on Elm Street, or hail him as he peddles downtown. A twist on a rickshaw, the pedicab has cushioned seating in the open-air cab, which is pulled around by a specialty bicycle, all powered by Cashion’s peddling.
Cashion says most clients are out-of-town visitors who find themselves with unexpected downtime and looking for something fun to do. Peddl does not charge set fees though Cashion asks riders to tip what they feel is appropriate, though Peddl’s website suggests $1 per block.
He says this summer will reveal if the business is viable, as it will be his first full-time season. He expects to have enough demand by end of summer to hire additional drivers and add two more vehicles to his fleet.
His aspirations go above and beyond financial success. Cashion says he hopes his pedicab can help make the streets more bicycle-friendly and help boost tourism in Manchester.
For more information, visit peddlmht.com.