Symphony of Crackle
Years before Cowgirl Bike Courier’s inception, Amanda (CFO and Co-Founder) and I would make regular excursions to the Campbell Farmer’s Market together. It was our Sunday routine to stumble out of our respective beds at the crack of 10 a.m., spend two hours whining about having no food in our shared house, and throw on something half-way presentable before heading out the door.
The Manresa Bread Project always had a line that soared past their little booth and rounded the nearest corner. Patrons would line up hours before the market even opened, all seeking the opportunity to purchase freshly baked bread. Most Sundays, Manresa would sell out within their first two hours of opening.
Despite our tardiness, Amanda and I would get lucky every once in a while. A sourdough baguette maybe. Sometimes, a set of scones or a brioche. Or if we were really lucky, a fruit and nut loaf.
Like a child coveting a security blanket, our freshly baked purchase would be kept warm by our hot little hands as we ventured back home. Once in the kitchen, we would greedily smear our small collection of jams and cheeses across whatever delicacies we'd acquired. Each Sunday afternoon was well spent in good company with fresh bread and strong coffee. It was wonderful being young, broke, and hungry. (For what it's worth, we are still young, broke, and hungry.)
Time passed, Amanda moved to Berkeley, we opened Cowgirl for business, and Manresa Bread Project evolved into Manresa Bread. I made a special excursion up to Los Gatos specifically to visit the new store front when it opened, resulting in a 30-mile round trip by bicycle for a single almond croissant. The verdict?
It became my new goal in life to deliver this bread. Amanda endorsed my mission, and so began a four-month long courtship with Manresa Bread. And by courtship, I mean making the 30-mile round trip bi-weekly to buy copious amounts of bread in hopes of seeing how much I could deliver back to Downtown San Jose.*
*12 pastries and 10 loaves on my road bike.
Each delivery was shared with friends and colleagues. The plan was to generate an interest in Manresa Bread among our clients. It worked. After a few months of experimental deliveries, I was introduced by the storefront staff to Manresa Bread's Co-Owner and Manager Andrew Burnham. We began discussing the possibility of partnering our two companies. All I needed was a client willing to purchase in wholesale.
As it happened, our partner Chromatic Coffee had been trying to get in touch with Manresa Bread for months. Chromatic’s manager and co-founder, Otessa Crandell, was stoked when I informed her that I had begun talks with the bread company.
“Could you imagine how awesome it would be if we had fresh baked bread and pastries delivered each morning by bike courier?” she asked.
Discussions began in earnest between Chromatic, Cowgirl, and Manresa and have recently resulted in what I consider to be our finest partnership yet.
All three companies are dedicated to a more sustainable lifestyle, both environmentally and through our respective communities. Chromatic sells direct trade coffee, roasted here in San Jose. Manresa utilizes local and organic ingredients, freshly baked every morning in Los Gatos. And Cowgirl bridges the gap between the two with zero-emission, human powered transportation.
To say that I'm delighted about our new partnership would be an understatement. Amanda and I have come a long way from sipping coffee, munching on bread and dreaming of a better future in our kitchen. Partnering with two of the most influential companies in the South Bay is a tremendous accomplishment that we couldn't be prouder of.
~Cain Ramirez, CEO and Co-Founder