Online grocery delivery service launches
In part four of a series of stories profiling participants in the Enterprise Bermuda incubator programme organised by the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, we speak to Carl Vincent and Leanne Evans.
Entrepreneurs Carl Vincent and Leanne Evans learnt a valuable lesson while working on a motor yacht belonging to billionaire sports magnate Shahid Khan, the owner of Fulham FC and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Mr Vincent headed up a crew of ten in charge of the exterior of the boat, while Ms Evans managed a staff of 11 that ran the boat's interior. The yacht spent half the year in Europe, the other half in the United States. Guests on the boat included Beyoncé and Jay-Z, and Bill Gates.
Together o board the 95-metre MY Kismet for more than four years, Mr Vincent and Ms Evans discovered a service standard that has for ever changed them.
Now, Mr Vincent, 26, and Ms Evans, 28, are the owners of DropIt Delivery, a grocery delivery service that launches today. Mr Vincent describes the service as “Lindo's grocery store, Warwick, online”.
Ms Evans, who is from Yorkshire, England, said: “Our experience on Kismet ties in so well with what we are doing now. Everything on the yacht was about quality control, everything being tip-top — for example, shining the fruit, setting the table, ensuring that everything was flawless.
“We worked on different teams, but we had to execute a seamless day. We had to make sure that the outcome was the best we can possibly do. It was great seeing that side of life and the standards of that side of life. That changes you for ever.”
Mr Vincent said: “You have to accept that's your own standard now.”
The couple say they will transfer that service standard to DropIt Delivery. Online customers have access to more than 10,000 items in the Lindo's, Warwick inventory, organised by category. Repeat users of the service can access a “favourites list” of items they have ordered before in order to speed up the process.
Once paid for online, goods will be delivered by DropIt to a customer's home, office, or yacht, during a two-hour window selected by the customer, for a delivery fee of $37 — or they can be picked up kerbside at Lindo's for a charge of $19.99. Two levels of annual membership are available that provide a 10 per cent discount on the delivery charge.
Delivery is available from Dockyard to the eastern border of Hamilton Parish. Drivers hired by DropIt will use their own vehicles to make deliveries.
Mr Vincent, who attended school at Harrington Sound and Saltus before moving to Atlanta at the age of 13, and Ms Evans expect the market to include residents, tourists staying in self-catering properties, yacht owners and crew, as well as guesthouse owners and tourist property managers who they anticipate will welcome the time-saving aspect of the service.
The idea for DropIt was hatched while the couple were catsitting in Miami last Christmas across the road from a Publix supermarket, which they visited a couple of times daily.
“We saw people shopping who were wearing a shirt with ‘Shopper' on the back,” Mr Vincent recalls.
Ms Evans said: “We started asking questions, and it turns out ‘Instacart' is a huge grocery delivery service in the US.”
Added Mr Vincent: “Every day, we asked more and more questions and we saw a large gap in the market here. We heard about the BEDC incubator programme and spent two weeks, every day for 16 hours, putting a business plan together and researching this idea until it was ready. Once we were accepted into Enterprise Bermuda, it was real — time to activate.”
Mr Vincent said the benefits of the incubator are “like having a big brother to help you with your homework all the time”, but says the programme is only as valuable as participants make it.
“They will help you externally but they're not going to build your business for you,” he says. “You have to drive your own business and be willing to put in the work. They give you the tools, but the garden is not going to clear itself.”
The couple says the reaction to their business enterprise has been overwhelmingly positive.
“People we tell say ‘why didn't I think of that?',” Mr Vincent said.
Ms Evans added: “There are a whole bunch of people rooting for us already. They say they can't wait to try it.”
• To order a delivery, or to sign up for membership, see the DropIt Delivery website at www.dropit.bm. You can also contact the business via Facebook or Instagram