Log In

Reset Password

My Beams Club gets creative with grocery import

First Prev 1 2 Next Last
Keeping costs down: Ryan Simpson, together with Jo-Ann Cousins, his wife, and Maxine Simmons have started My Beams Club, a discount grocery service (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

When Ryan Simpson launched discount grocery service My Beams Clubs, he thought people would beat a path to his door.

Food costs were rocketing in Bermuda. But the reality was something else.

“At first, we got a lot of sceptics,” said Mr Simpson who runs the business with his wife Jo-Ann Cousins and Maxine Simmons.

Mr Simpson sells a 10lb bag of rice for $9.74, a 23-litre bottle of olive oil for $23 and 4lbs of salt for $3.41.

No customs clearance fee: My Beams Club is offering these products in a subscription grocery service (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

“People thought the prices were too good to be true so they just weren’t going to bother. And people were always asking where we were located, because they thought we were a scam.”

But the service is catching on. Now, many of their members are people receiving financial assistance from the Bermuda Government due to age or disability, and need to make their grocery budget stretch as far as possible.

My Beams Club operates online, but has an office at 2 Midsea Lane, Pembroke, on the first floor.

“We don’t have a brick and mortar store,” Mr Simpson said. “That is how we keep costs down.”

Mr Simpson lives in Delaware while his wife works in Bermuda as a dementia care specialist.

The couple, and Bermudian nurse Ms Simmons, also own holistic healthcare business, Bermuda Alzheimer & Memory Service. They were looking at ways to help their patients afford good food and supplies.

“Dr Cousins was seeing patients who were not healthy because they could not afford to buy the healthy foods because they were usually economically out of their reach,” Mr Simpson said. “People often confessed that while grocery shopping they choose the cheapest products and often the cheapest are not among the healthiest. My Beams Club addresses this by offering affordability while not compromising on healthy choices.”

Mr Simpson visits Bermuda at least once a month, because his family are on the island.

Living in Delaware – a sales-tax free state – gave Mr Simpson a unique perspective on Bermuda prices.

“I was looking at some of the products in Delaware and thinking their prices were ridiculously low by comparison,” he said. “I thought how can we get these into Bermuda?”

He now sources My Beams Club products in Delaware, or has them shipped to his state, and then shipped to Bermuda.

“We have a couple of containers that we keep things in,” he said.

At the moment, My Beams Club offers only non-perishables such as paper goods, laundry detergent, cereal, salt, canned goods and rice, but they are looking at adding meats and vegetables in the future.

“It is a process,” Mr Simpson said. My Beams Club offers an annual membership rate of $49 for individuals, and $99 for businesses.

“On the business end, we have had some interest from several rest homes,” Mr Simpson said.

Clients choose bundles of products that are delivered, at set intervals, free of charge. My Beams Club offers small, medium and large-bundle sizes, and also value and premium versions.

A single-person bundle, for example, works out to be, roughly, $240 a month.

Because a lot of the products are supersized, Mr Simpson thought many of the products could last for several months, depending on the size of the family.

There is a chart on the My Beams Club website comparing the price of his products to the norm in Bermuda.

The trio started My Beams Club after reading a 2020 article in The Royal Gazette reporting that Numbeo.com had ranked Bermuda the most expensive place to live, out of 135 countries. The island topped the list again this month.

“The cost of living here was already through the roof, and the pandemic just made things worse,” Mr Simpson said.

He said the Russian invasion of the Ukraine and rising fuel costs were also contributing to the problem.

For Mr Simpson, it is about creativity rather than competition. “We can offer a service that is mutually beneficial,” he said.

In addition to groceries, My Beams Club also offers an address in Delaware for package forwarding.

“We do our own clearance and do not charge a customs clearance fee,” Mr Simpson said.


You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published January 13, 2023 at 8:00 am (Updated January 13, 2023 at 8:08 am)

My Beams Club gets creative with grocery import

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon