GoGoGrocer: Conquerors of Convenience
By Nikki Sue Alston
The End of Checkout Lines
For those (like me) who hate their weekly or bi-weekly grocery-shopping trip, local startup, GoGoGrocer, is making it easier than ever to get your groceries and essential household items - with just the click of your mouse. I had the opportunity to visit their headquarters (located at the SEED Center by McNeese State University) and speak with the guys behind the groceries. Matt Lundmark, a shorter, quick-witted guy - whose sock game is always on point - and Tyson Queen, a tall fellow who enjoys long, barefoot walks on the beach; are the founders of GoGoGrocer. The idea was developed in an entrepreneurship class as their final project. After throwing around a few ideas, they ended up with online grocery shopping. “It was cool, innovative, and we could potentially do something with it,” Tyson said. The two got an A in the class (no big deal), entered their plan in the first Business Pitch Competition at McNeese and GoGoGrocer was chosen as one of the winners. From that competition, the duo was noticed by local investor group Angels of Southwest Louisiana and was invited to pitch it for possible funding. Tyson and Matt have been hard at work ever since, growing GoGo Grocer. The two said they felt like they earned an MBA in the short time they have been growing the company.
Men of Many Hats
“We wear all the hats. We do all the accounting, marketing, HR, business planning, raising funds, customer service…the list goes on”. - Matt
So, to answer the question everyone has been asking, ‘What is GoGoGrocer”? GoGoGrocer is an online grocery shopping service where users can browse thousands of items - in user-friendly categories - online. To shop, customers can log into their website, add items to their cart, check out and pick their items up the next business day from 12pm-7pm. If a specific item is not listed online, customers can message the guys through the page to request additions. Every morning, Tyson and Matt go to the Kroger on McNeese St to battle the hoards of '10 item-terrorists'. If the store is out of an ordered item, they call the customer to see if a substitution is acceptable, and if not - or if a substitution is not available - the amount is deducted from the customer’s total. When the customer arrive at the headquarters to pick up their groceries, they confirm their order, and the Produce Pulverizers will load the customer’s vehicle. All of this for a humble $4 service fee.
The Beta Days
Currently, the GoGoGrocer Beta Test is live - you can order your groceries right now, if you'd like. The purpose of the Beta Test is to work out any bugs with the website and process. Matt and Tyson want the customers who use the service during the Beta Test to be very critical of the service and its website, honesty is the best policy. They want to know what can be improved upon, what added features would make the experience better. Many of you may be thinking, “$4? How can they operate a successful business by only charging $4”? Simply put, they can’t. Matt and Tyson are building a “scalable business”; they aren’t building the company ONLY for Lake Charles. Like supermarkets, if only a few people make a purchase they do not make money, they have to have thousands of purchases so that after a certain point every purchase is profit.
Don't Call it a Delivery Service
GoGoGrocer is not to be confused with a grocery delivery service. For delivery, someone would need to be at the customer’s residence to receive the items. Logistically speaking, it would be extremely expensive for the customer and company. Other online grocery services that offer delivery have failed; except for Amazon Fresh - but they operate at a deficit that is made up by Amazon’s regular online retail business. So far, the guys say the process has been fun, but difficult. Tyson says, “To me, it’s all about controlling your own destiny. I’m not saying this is going to be a huge success (although we hope it will) but I want to do something I like, something I believe in. I’ve had office jobs where I was just making copies and it just wasn’t for me. You can do any job, but you’ll just do the minimum. You won’t have much drive to do better or to make it big or successful. If you enjoy what you’re doing, it makes it so much better. I’m happy we’ve been given this opportunity to do something we love”, said Matt.
No Fuss; No Muss
“By no means did I, while growing up, say, ‘Ya know, I want to get people’s groceries’. That’s not how it came up, it was just an idea. I’ve become passionate about groceries, but I am more passionate about building something, changing the culture of grocery shopping, and not only creating jobs but opportunities.” - Tyson
In the short time I was with Matt and Tyson, I was able to watch the process first hand. One customer told me his 78-year-old mother had ordered the groceries online and sent him to pick them up. Talk about ease of use! Customers can also create and save a particular grocery list. In addition to the website, plans for an App are in the works. In the future, Matt and Tyson are looking to partner with grocery store chains. “Our goal is to get in with a grocery chain and strike a partnership. We will have a pick-up station at the grocery store itself, a drive through of sorts. No line, already paid for, no fuss, no muss.”-Tyson
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