Local company does grocery shopping for you

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A decade ago, several online grocery delivery companies, WebVan,  Kozmo, and HomeRuns, went out of business.  But a local company is offering a similar service and making it work.

Rather than spend an hour at the grocery store, hand-picking every item on your list, you can do your grocery shopping at your desk. Go to www.RelayFoods.com and place your order from 20,000 items on their list.

Relay Foods started in Charlottesville and expanded to Richmond last year. It partners with local grocers, farmers, and shops, such as Carytown Cupcakes, to pick up your groceries for you.

Said Dawn Schick, owner of Carytown Cupcakes, "It's a nice way for our business to be exposed to other customers that maybe wouldn't know about us, particularly if they're in the county or the suburbs. So that works out really well for us."

Relay's founder Zach Buckner says they keep foods cold until you receive them. He explains, "All of our food moves with these modular containers, insulated, totes that are refrigerated. They're designed to keep foods at precise temperatures and we check this regularly."

Buckner says Relay has succeeded where other online grocery delivery companies failed because they deliver to pick-up sites, rather than to your door. That saves the company money. Says Buckner, "We have about 20 in-and-around Richmond. You drive up, pop your trunk, we load the groceries and you go."

Customers can pick up their orders between 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.. Customer Alex Pirill says it saves her time and gas. "I usually work all day and I don't want to stop at the store. Definitely, I can order up to midnight the night before. And I don't over shop, I don't overbuy. I just get what I need, pick it up. It's great!"

There's no additional cost. Relay buys the groceries wholesale and sells them to you for the same price you'd pay in the store. And they keep your dollars with local vendors.

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