HELENA, Mont. – A unique Made in Montana manufacturing company is making its mark in the expanding community of Bonner, not only in business but also in the arts.
Coaster Pedicabs Manufacturing, which produces pedal-powered passenger carts also known as rickshaws, currently has its products on display through a public art exhibit in Philadelphia by the celebrated Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang.
Fireflies is Guo-Qiang’s largest American public art project in a decade. In the exhibit, custom pedicabs adorned with hundreds of colorful lanterns have glided along Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway four nights per week since mid-September. The exhibit concludes this Sunday.
The Association for Public Art contacted Montana-based Coaster Pedicab last year because the company’s attention to detail caught Guo-Qiang’s eye. After the company sent a custom version of its standard pedicab, the artist placed an order for 27 of them. Coaster Pedicab ramped up production to fulfill the order — its largest to date — and shipped the fleet even earlier than expected.
Coaster Pedicab started in 2005 as Boston Pedicab, where Justin Bruce, now the company’s chief operating officer, led a project to reinvent the traditional pedicab. He found an established bicycle manufacturer to work with in Darby, and relocated Coaster Pedicab’s headquarters to Montana. One year later, Coaster Pedicab was established in the historic Bonner Sawmill.
“We feel extremely fortune to have found our home in the Big Sky and to have all of our trikes Montana-made,” said Bruce.
Since its origin in Bonner, Coaster Pedicabs has expanded from manufacturing pedicabs to producing other non-motorized tricycles such as cargo-box trikes, pickup-bed trikes and more launching soon.