Former Peninsula High School friends are teaming up to offer a grocery-delivery service to Key Peninsula residents using products and produce from the Food Market at Key Center.
Genius Delivery will offer an innovative technology, giving a virtual experience of walking down the aisle of a grocery store. The patent-pending application is different from other grocery-delivery sites because it can show what’s available by store aisle.
Each aisle is mapped and labeled. Customers can see the grocery aisle as if they were in the store. They can go down each virtual aisle and add items to an online cart.
Another option is to type in a product name to make choices appear, and that can take users to the specific aisle.
The Food Market will automatically update any sales, so current prices will be reflected. Customers can keep staples and add a few new items to each order.
Co-founders Brodie Yastum, Nick Fandel, Bobby Bertsch and Nater Youngchild graduated together from Peninsula High School in 2008. Each went their separate ways for college, but they stayed in touch.
As they reconnected once they graduated from college, the entrepreneurs made their first foray into business together with delivery for the dog bakery “Scraps” to run a small-scale trial of the web system. They worked out some of the glitches along the way.
The co-founders opened the Genuis Delivery venture last January in Seattle, and they wanted to bring it to their hometown.
“We are excited to bring this service to our home on the Key Peninsula,” Youngchild said. “Residents are excited about the new technology and are interested in the idea of shopping from home. The love of our hometown was inspiration to bring it here to give it a shot.”
Fandel said the timing is right to open their service to an additional area.
“Food Market and its customers have been enthusiastic about the delivery services,” he said. “We’ve done two demonstrations sessions already with over 20 signups.”
The reception has been warm, Fandel said.
Fandel and Youngchild will offer a hands-on demonstration to show how the service works from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday. They will hold a raffle for free delivery on any size grocery order for those who attend.
Fandel and Youngchild make the deliveries themselves. Hour intervals are set up on the website to choose when clients want their groceries delivered. There is a three-hour advance notice required.
One other difference is the fee. The cost is based on distance, rather than net weight, as other sites charge.
According to a comparative test done by a Seattle news station last spring, the service is more affordable than its national competitor, Fandel said.
“Grocery delivery has been tried before, but (our) group sees the market catching up with technology, and with their new app, it makes it as close to real shopping, but now done from the a sofa,” Youngchild said.
“Lots of residents would take advantage of this system, and with the demographic and distance of the Key Peninsula, many would appreciate being able to have their items delivered,” said Jim Bellemy, Peninsula Light Co. energy efficiency manager who lives on the Key Peninsula. “It’s great to see technology being put to a good use locally.”
The partners hope to add other Gig Harbor-area stores in the future.
For more information, visit www.genius delivery.com.Lifestyles Coordinator Kim Eibel can be reached at 253-358-4152 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter, @gateway_kim.