Home deliveries from June 1st for these 8 military commissioners
Commissary customers at or near eight military installations across the United States will be able to test out a new home delivery service scheduled for June 1.
The Defense Commissary Agency awarded contracts to two veteran-owned businesses on April 14 for delivery services. From April 17 to May 31, entrepreneurs will integrate and test their technology with the Commissioner’s agency’s e-commerce system. Home delivery begins June 1 and pilot program contracts run for 90 days, through August 30, according to contract documents.
The door-to-door delivery service will be an extension of the current global Click2Go program, where customers order their Commissary items online, pay for them, and then collect them curbside from the Commissary. This new delivery service will be available to locations within a 20-mile “travelled” radius of the eight select stores. Shipping costs in most cases will be less than $4.
Bill Moore, director of the Defense Commissary Agency, has made door-to-door delivery an important aspect of his efforts to make it more convenient for customers to use their commissary benefit. The plan is to eventually deliver groceries from all commissioners in the continental United States to customers on and off base, in barracks or living quarters, offices.
The contracts were awarded to ChowCall, of Chesapeake, Virginia, for $177,084; and to YouUp Delivery Inc., of Roswell, Georgia, for $72,915, according to contract documents.
ChowCall will provide delivery service for five commissioners: Fort Belvoir, Virginia; Scott Air Force Base, Illinois; Fort Bragg (South Commissioner), North Carolina; MacDill Air Force Base, Florida; and Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia.
The cost to the customer for home delivery will be $3.97, in addition to the cost of their groceries, plus the 5% commissary surcharge. Customers can also tip their drivers. Hours of operation and the number of hours before order delivery vary by store location.
YouUp Delivery will provide delivery service for three commissioners: Fort Lewis, Washington; Miramar Naval Air Station and San Diego Naval Station, both in California. The cost to the customer for home delivery will vary from $3.80 to $4.15, depending on the distance from the commissary. Hours of operation and the number of hours before order delivery vary by store location.
“We wanted to make it affordable. It’s important to us to pass on these savings from the commissary to the military family as much as possible,” said Harold Earls, co-founder of YouUp Delivery Inc.
Earls left the Army in late 2020 as a captain after serving with the Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery. With two young children, he and his wife often shopped at Giant for convenience, even though the commissary was cheaper, he said.
“My wife wondered why the stewards weren’t delivering,” he added.
They built the company specifically to serve the quartermaster agency and its customers in the military community, he explained. “We will provide practical benefits and cost savings, and provide employment opportunities for military spouses. »
Military spouses will be under contract with the company, he said. They will receive an hourly wage plus tips. Salaries are also defined in the contracts. For example, the hourly wage will be $19.63 for those who deliver from the Fort Lewis police station. To learn more about contract opportunities, visit www.youup.us/hire.
Commissary employees will pick items from the shelves to fill customer orders, so the contracts only involve picking up groceries from stores and delivering them to the customer. So the commissioner’s agency makes the system more efficient for the contractor early on in filling orders, Earls said. Contracted delivery drivers pay for their own gas, but the company’s software will consolidate customer orders into the most efficient delivery routes possible, Earls said.
Todd Waldemar, CEO of ChowCall, opened a food delivery restaurant after returning from deployment and left the Marine Corps as a major in 2006. After delivering more than two million orders to military bases over 14 years , he launched ChowCall in 2019, delivering orders to military bases from favorite restaurants, just in time for the pandemic when those delivery services became critical for many. ChowCall is now available in eight installations.
“We are growing very quickly and aim to be on most major bases by the end of the year,” Waldemar said.
With commissary savings averaging more than 20%, he added, “we want to put these value-priced groceries in the hands of the community. That’s what drives this whole business.
“Our sweet spot is the military bases. We deliver tons of stuff to the military in barracks and PMQs, but also off base as well as surrounding communities,” he said.
ChowCall is also recruiting. Visit ChowCall and scroll down to “Drivers” to find opportunities.
Waldemar said 64% of personnel are affiliated with the military, mostly veterans and dependents.
“We have a very big vision for creating the military market of tomorrow,” Waldemar said.
Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for over 30 years, and co-authored a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book “A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families”. She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Florida and Athens, Ga.