Outkast Company Matlock Bath
By Karl Goyns
The best and worst thing about choosing somewhere to go with your mates is that EVERYBODY has a different opinion. There is a strong argument for a “proper” full English being the main foundation of a great destination for bikers, but that argument is fading fast. The issue is now far more complicated than ever with different destinations popping up on the map that aim to attract bikers:
- Barbers with coffee shops attached
- Bike dealers that have added a cafe
- Bike shops with a food wagon outside
- Pubs and other hospitality spots that run bike nights
It’s great to have all of that choice but there are very few venues that operate as a true biker destination first and foremost. The reason for that is the seasonal nature of biking, and unless a place is really special, a business needs to survive the winter, and therefore needs something else to offer when there are less bikes on the road. Thankfully we know one really special place, located in the undeniable (but slightly peculiar) biking mecca that is Matlock Bath.
Outkast Company: The start of something great!
Outkast Company was founded during the (not so) great pandemic of 2020. Bill Livings or “Mr O” as locals know him, was fed up with the usual and predictable destinations on his Sunday ride outs. Recognising the huge potential for a dedicated biker destination in Matlock Bath, he began formulating a plan and was keeping an eye on properties available locally. Unfortunately, the pandemic hit which put a delay on putting his ideas into action, but finally in the summer of 2020 things began to look up. Mr O secured a deal for a property on North Parade which is nearer the train station (where it’s far easier to park your bike).
Outkast Company officially launched on August 1st 2020, and with the support of the local biking community, it was an instant success. Bill recalled “Time has flown by, I remember the opening day and seeing that our ideas had turned into a decent reality. It’s hard to think that was over two years ago and that thousands of bikers have passed through our doors since then”.
Merchandise, Coffee & Honest Food
Outkast Company set out to do three things really well. Cool merchandise, coffee and honest food. The merchandise comes in a variety of forms, from uniquely styled baseball caps to high quality tees and hoodies. They have done exceptionally well in this area as the brand is often seen on the backs (and fronts) of punters at bike shows across the country. The shop often does limited releases of merch with exclusive designs and colour schemes, as well as offering cool gifts and collectibles from local producers. Keep an eye out for the piston art pieces. The cult following of the brand often sees customers
You For Coffee?
For the coffee aficionados, Outkast Company rock two main blends of coffee. Bikers Roast which is their main offering, it’s a handpicked blend of beans from South America and South-East Asia that results in an easy to drink medium dark roast coffee. The freshness of the coffee rewards your tastebuds with hints of honey, almond, caramel and a sweeter hint of brown sugar. The caffeine kick surpasses what you get from high street coffee by a country mile. Tank Slapper is a darker roast of beans from Central & South America which produces a smokey, dark chocolate experience with a maple syrup finish. Tank Slapper has a bit more of a kick to it and is the go-to blend to restart your day from the afternoon lag or if you want a coffee that leaves the feeling that there’s been a party in your mouth. Availability of Tank Slapper “on-tap” varies but you’ll be glad to know that both blends can be taken home in the form of beans, or ground coffee for you to enjoy. For the quality of the coffee, the price of the takeaway beans is outstanding.
None of your cardboard sausages here thank you very much!
FOOD! Lord knows the brothers and sisters on two wheels only need two things to function. Fuel in the tank, and food in the belly. Outkast Company is famous for its baked goods. Don’t be alarmed if you arrive in the mid-morning rush and the counter looks as if it has been burgled, Mr O keeps a stash of Mrs O’s baked goods out back. Brownies, Cakes, Flapjacks, are not terms that do any of the goodies justice. You simply have to visit and try them for yourself. Try not to slide an evil eye to the person in front of you that loads up a takeaway box of bakes, they’re only human. Word on the street is that several of the local bikers invested in luggage racks and panniers for the sole purpose of grabbing a cakeaway from Outkast. For those of you that don’t have a sweet tooth, or most likely want something savoury first, you can enjoy paninis, sandwiches, breakfast cobs and the much loved Outkast Burger. If you’re lucky enough, you may land on a day when they have handmade sausage rolls, pies or scotch eggs, sourced from a local master. Sure Matlock offers 97 outlets for fish and chips and instant coffee, but if you wanted to be average, you’d only drive a car! ;-) So when the tummy rumbles, treat it right, sample the Outkast menu.
Don’t drink and ride…You’ll spill it. Mr O had a licensed bar installed for the days when you’re off the bike, and the shop has been home to many a great party. Regulars speak of the fun times they had at the Christmas and Halloween parties, but the most love is for the summer afternoon drinkups when every seat inside and outside the shop is taken. Bottles of the locally brewed Outkast’s Ruin dotted across every table. Again, Mr O likes to offer something special, so you can expect limited brews of other tipple on occasion too. In the summer months you may spot people with a smile on their face, sipping from a milk bottle. This is “Outkast Milk”, if you hear someone asking what it is, or asking for one, you’ll see a chorus of smiles. When asking Mr O why just saying the name invites smiles or giggles, he said “Let’s just say that Outkast Milk has required bikes to be parked up and riders get a taxi home”. Regulars expand by telling us that a few of them have ridden to the shop, had such a great time, and decided to get home by other means. So far it's easy to see why petrol heads (with all different machines) ride from far and wide for a visit!
At the heart of the community
Outkast Company isn’t all about the social and the fun times, Mr O is serious about good causes. Blood Bikes, MAG, Mental Health Motorbike, Bikers Against Child Abuse, Royal British Legion Riders, and a whole host of other clubs and groups have used the location as a starting point, pit stop, or destination for events and rideouts. They're not the only ones that put in the miles to visit, you may even see the occasional familiar face when you visit. Henry Cole recently visited whilst filming The Motorbike Show for instance. Due to the extensive social circle of the brand, and the fact they are a linchpin in the biking community, Outkast Company will be hosting their own bike rally in 2023. The Outkast Festival will take place on June 3rd so stick the date in your diary.
Outkast the show!
The Outkast Festival boasts numerous bands and of course, great coffee, sexy merch and fantastic food. Hundreds of bikers are expected to turn out for the event, as are numerous traders to round off the conventional bike event offering. Naturally the event will also support a good cause - Lauren’s Legacy, who grant wishes for teenagers and young adults who are undergoing cancer treatments. To arrange tickets for the event, you can call, email or message the team on the Outkast Company Facebook Page.
Whether you are able to make the Outkast Festival, or you can’t, the next time you are in town, we highly recommend you visit Mr O and the gang at Outkast Company, 30 North Parade, Matlock Bath, DE4 3NS. BeMoto Motorbike Insurance gives the venue a a big thumbs up!