Getting your groceries from the farm to your door by bike is now a reality in Vancouver.
Online grocery company Spud.ca has taken natural to a new level by launching a carbon-free delivery service.
“We think we can put in smaller stores and service the customer in a unique way and that’s what we want to do,” says Spud.ca CEO Peter van Stolk
The small locations also suit the company’s bottom line. In September, it opened its first small stand-alone grocery café, Be Fresh, in Kitsilano. It’s just 1600 square feet.
“Real estate costs. It’s really just the price of real estate,” says van Stolk.
The company invested $15,000 for a combination electric pedal van, which carries about18 boxes and up to 600 pounds of groceries at a time. Kai Kenny pedals his way to the more than 30,000 potential customers who live in the delivery area.
“Our goal here is to have the lowest carbon footprint of any grocery store in America or Canada,” adds van Stolk.
Most grocery stores in Metro Vancouver offer vehicle delivery for between $10 and $15 but we’re told Spud.ca is the first to offer its own delivery by bike – and orders over $35 are free.
If it’s successful, the company plans to expand with smaller groceries and bicycle delivery in more dense neighbourhoods.
“It’s delivered on a bike and it’s close by and employs people in our community and it works for us.” says bike delivery customer Terry Vanderkruyk.
Online grocery service in several North American markets is big business. Business Insider projects online grocery sales will grow 21 per cent between 2013 and 2018 in the U.S. That’s seven times the average growth of U.S. retail grocery sales over the past 10 years.
Spud.ca started its online grocery business in Vancouver in 1998 and has grown to the largest specialty online grocery company in Western Canada. It serves more than 400,000 customers annually.
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