This week, we're shopping for fresh local groceries without getting up from the comfy chair. That's thanks to Rosie, a new web app that's partnered with the P&C Fresh supermarket on Ithaca's east hill to offer online grocery shopping for pickup or delivery.
Rosie is based on the idea that no one really loves poking around the grocery store to find everything on their shopping list, and as you wander the aisles you're often tempted to buy things you didn't really need.
Start by searching for the items you know you want. Rosie can track the things you buy regularly, and remind you when it's time to buy more, or suggest items you've searched for in the past.
Finish your order by choosing pick-up service for $5.95 or delivery for $9.95. The pick-up service is perfect if you've got a minute to stop at the store on the way home but don't want to spend a half hour shopping, and delivery's great if you don't have a car or can't get out.
Greg Young from the P&C Fresh says the delivery option from Rosie has been popular with students who don't have their own transportation, and with residents at senior housing in the area. "The feedback from customers so far has been very positive," says Young, "and it is showing in our repeat customers. We tested jointly with a Beta group for several months before we launched Rosie to the general public, so the 'glitches' have been minimal."
Marlo Capoccia, who operated the Garden Gate Delivery service until last fall, says "Delivery services are important for families, especially because they're already stretched so thin with working, household chores, school, and social obligations, that coming home to cook a home-made meal every night is rather daunting." Garden Gate offered produce and meats from local farms, as well as prepared food from local producers, with deliveries in Ithaca and surrounding towns. "Having a service that can bring all of your cooking ingredients right to your home,or at least save you an hour of shopping in the store, makes it more likely that families can make healthy meals at home and create a little more time to be together," she says.
The P&C Fresh supermarket is increasingly offering local produce, such as fresh potatoes from Nook & Cranny Farm in Brooktondale.Jon Ambrose, one of Rosie's founders, agrees. "Many working professionals, full-time moms, and busy students sacrifice healthy meal ingredients because they're short on time and energy. Rosie brings these customers the option of shopping, from home, for the same local groceries they would buy in the store."
Ambrose says they usually see milk, eggs, and bread in shopping orders, but local foods are especially popular among Rosie shoppers. He says the P&C's commitment to local farms and other producers is one reason he loves working with them. "Both P&C Fresh and Rosie have a strong commitment to the local community, so there was a natural partnership," says Ambrose.
"The fact that local products are included in their offerings is excellent for local farms," Capoccia says. In recent months, the P&C Fresh has begun offering apples and pears, potatoes, beef, and honey from local farms.
"Fresh, handpicked produce tends to be popular," says Ambrose, "and we sold our first live lobster just a few weeks ago. There have also been items like extension cords, paper products, and deli meats. Customers can find any product in the store much faster than it would take to physically walk the aisles."
Rosie started out with just the P&C Fresh in Ithaca this summer, and has already expanded to the P&C Fresh in Cortland and Nojaim Bros. in Syracuse, as well. Pickup service is currently available 11am-7pm at all three stores, and for now, delivery is available from 5pm-9pm weekdays and 2-6pm Saturdays in Ithaca. Ambrose says the company will launch in eight additional stores in New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts in the next few months.
Stretch out your shopping finger to rosieapp.com and tell them you heard about them here.