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Little Mule Cycle Co and Café

This is the story of two IT guys who, after seven years of working the
same jobs day-in day-out, decided to do something totally unexpected.
Alice Blackwood get into gear with a good coffee.

Hugh McIntyre and Matt Bates are self-professed computer nerds – yes it’s true, “deep down we like computers,” says Hugh.

But the two IT professionals also have something else in common: a love of bikes and coffee – and this is where the story begins.

Looking for a new challenge, the two biking buffs started brainstorming – and the Little Mule Cycle Co & Café was born.



Set within Somerset Lane in the Melbourne CBD, Little Mule is a café-cum-bike shop, and the source of a number of creative collaborations.

The bike component of this space came about through Matt’s brother.

“He suggested we should sell our own bikes, and offered to design all the frames – it was too good to pass up,” says Hugh.


Brother Ben, who is an artist and designer, proved to have a talented hand with bikes – “he was the driving force behind us doing our own frames” – as well as creating fully-customisable bikes for clients. 

Fitted out with a textural array of recycled materials and repurposed cabinets, counter tops and lockers, the café is run by two hospitality professionals (otherwise known as Hamish and Joe).

Of the mix of clientele Little Mule attracts, “it’s really interesting – people who are into bikes are from all walks of life,” says Hugh.


Further connecting with their new following, Little Mule will be holding a Laneway Cinema night on 25 November as part of the Melbourne Bike Festival (MBF).

You can also find them among the finalists in MBF’s Better By Bike design competition, or see them in person on Somerset Lane!


Little Mule

Melbourne Bike Festival
25 – 27 November 2010

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