Cyclists vote Affairs best bike friendly business
Butter tarts and espresso. So, that’s what keeps those cyclists going on their long rides through the region.
On any given Saturday and Sunday in the summer, about 100 cyclists stop by Affairs Bakery and Café in Creemore for their fuel of choice. Café owner Norma Panzine said they come from all over the region.
Those cyclists have voted Affairs the best bicycle friendly business in the RTO7 region (Bruce-Grey-Simcoe) at the 2020 Ontario By Bike awards. Businesses are selected for providing services and being welcoming to cyclists visiting their locations as well as supporting cycling within their community. A winner was selected from each of the 13 tourism regions in Ontario.
“We feel very honoured to have been chosen,” said Panzine. “They are the mainstay of my business so I have to cater to them.”
Panzine said cyclists started showing up in droves at her café about 14 years ago. They were parking their bikes in the alley.
“There were so many of them, it was creating issues,” said Panzine.
She did some research and found out what kind of bike racks cyclists will use because they won’t attach their expensive bikes to just anything. She had two of these racks made and placed them in front of the café, but it wasn’t enough to accommodate all the bikes, so she had a third one made.
Creemore has grown in popularity as a cycling destination, aided by several cycling events. Word spread as cyclists were recommending Affairs as a destination to other cyclists. There is even a tour called the BT (butter tart) 700 (kms) coming up this weekend which will roll through Creemore.
Panzine welcomed them by allowing them to fill up their water bottles, giving them the use of the washrooms, and she didn’t mind them walking on the floors with their cleats. She is now opening earlier to accommodate those who get an early start.
The cyclists used to come through in large groups, said Panzine, but with the pandemic that has changed. Panzine took a little extra time to figure out how to open safely in the age of COVID-19 but she now has the back patio open, as well as the sidewalk seating, and her washrooms are open to the public. This weekend, she will have the ice cream bar open, with full physical distancing protocols in place.