New local-owned South Lake Tahoe grocery service delivers goods
From the way business founder Kyle Jordan describes it, his now South Shore-based company, Express Lane Delivery, started sort of by accident.
“I was sick one day in my house and wanted Gatorade and chicken soup,” he said of his inspiration while living in Nashville, Tennessee.
And so the idea for a grocery delivery company began.
Initially more of a hobby or side project in Nashville, it continued when he moved to Tahoe four years ago. But last September — after four years working for Harrah’s and Harveys casinos — it became a full-time endeavor with his former Harveys/Harrah’s boss and now co-owner Amy Abernethy.
“I needed a partner to make it legit,” he said.
“I was ready for a change,” Abernethy said of the decision to leave her position as VIP supervisor and jump into the small business world. “Kyle came to me with the idea of going full time with this.”
Of the risk involved, Jordan simply said, “I knew once we got it out there, it would catch on.”
Now just four months later, the two said it’s already grown dramatically — largely through networking with former resort industry contacts and local businesses.
“That word of mouth really is effective for us,” Abernethy said. “Getting out there on the pavement works.”
“It’s non-stop. Every day gets bigger,” Jordan added.
Through their website, customers can order any grocery items they want down to the last detail. They’ll do everything from dog food to liquor, Jordan said, and all-organic requests. Clients can also specify a grocery store.
“We’ll do anything that will fit into a small SUV,” Jordan joked. “You can be as specific as you want.”
That can include multiple stops, like a trip to the pet store for specialty dog food.
Explaining their success so far, Jordan said, “It’s a unique business. We’re the only ones doing it.”
While in other larger cities some grocery stores offer similar services, no one on the South Shore currently offers a comparable option.
According to Jordan and Abernethy, employees at Safeway — which offers the delivery service elsewhere — have recommended them when customers inquire.
So far, their clientele has been everyone from destination resort visitors to locals holed up at home with an injury and the elderly.
Simply not wanting to drive to the store is enough of a reason, Abernethy said.
Services include on-site delivery while customers are out skiing, as long as the residence has a property manager or security that can be present upon delivery.
While it’s currently just Abernethy, Jordan and Jordan’s wife, Sarah, Kyle Jordan said they may soon be big enough to expand.
Express Lane Delivery charges $20 for any order of a $100 or less and 20 percent of the grocery total for any order over $100.
Jordan said typically customers don’t specify what their total cost expectation may be and he’s had already had grocery orders over $1,200.
More information is available online at http://www.expresslanedelivery.com.
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