Boxed food delivery firm aims to cut costs
Three entrepreneurs who met at Ignite Bermuda have launched an innovative on-demand grocery business that promises to reduce food costs.
Mandela Caesar and Dwain Smith of ICSS Bermuda have teamed up with Colin Rego of food delivery business Sargasso Sea, to launch Pantry Box, which offers a range of boxed grocery packages at prices they say are 10 to 40 per cent lower than what is charged by grocery stores.
Grocery orders will be delivered via Sargasso Sea’s existing crew of independent contractor delivery agents.
Pantry Box was announced yesterday in the Ignite hub on Wesley Street, Hamilton, and goes live today.
The entrepreneurs say they recognise that the traditional grocery store model is an expensive proposition in a place as remote as Bermuda.
By employing an on-demand model of taking grocery orders, importing the goods, and delivering them on arrival, they eliminate the need for warehouse space, or staff.
“We have leveraged an existing infrastructure and distribution model, thereby lowering our costs and passing those savings on to the customer,” Mr Caesar said.
Mr Smith said the new service is a modified version of a model that has been operated by First Church of God in Pembroke for more than three years. “It was popular, so we thought it was time now to scale up and offer it to the entire community,” congregant Mr Smith said. “We had an ‘a-ha moment’.”
Added Mr Caesar: “We took the more popular boxes, and changed them to make them more appealing.”
Shoppers choose from eight “menu boxes”, including “for the family”, “yard bird special”, “plant power”, and “surf ‘n’ turf”.
Groceries are a mix of brands that are familiar to Bermuda consumers, such as Tyson, Purdue, Eggo and Brown ‘N Serve, as well as some brands not normally available on-island.
The 27lb family box includes salmon, turkey burgers, bacon, Eggo pancakes, mixed vegetables, broccoli, shrimp, New York strip steaks, luncheon meats, Breyer’s ice cream, strawberries, and more.
Prices for the boxes range from $45 to $155.
“We like to think there is a little bit of something for everyone,” Mr Caesar says. “But we are keen for feedback so that we can enhance our offering. We will do whatever it takes to meet demand.”
Customers may order via the Sargasso Sea app, which can be downloaded from The App Store or Google Play, or by calling 538-FOOD (3663) having reviewed the range of menu boxes at https://sargassosea.app/en/list by clicking on “Groceries” and then “Pantry Box”.
Orders made by March 4 will be delivered on March 16. Orders received by March 1 will receive a 10 per cent discount. The frequency of the service will depend upon demand, Mr Caesar said.
The business partners met during the first Ignite cohort in 2019.
“Pantry Box was definitely sparked by the Ignite programme,” Mr Caesar said.
Mr Rego added: “We would never have met if not for Ignite.”
Added Sean Reel, executive director of Ignite: “You have got to innovate to solve problems, that is what entrepreneurs do.”
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