Online grocery business moving in right direction
By Maurice Garvey
MODERN shopping techniques have changed dramatically in recent years, with the advent of online services.
Tapping into this trend is the aptly named grocer Jonathan Greene, who launched his own online fresh food company Grocer.ie in January.
With over 40 years experience in the grocery business, the Tallaght resident had a burning desire to start his own venture.
The online service is slowly building a customer base, but according to Greene, feedback has been positive.
He sources local producers and suppliers for fresh meat and fruit products, and says an added environmental benefit, is that his business model produces zero food waste.
“It is a one man show, from concept to implementation to operations, but this is a love affair for me,” said Jonathan.
Customer orders made by 2pm, are delivered the next day.
Greene was essentially born into the grocery business, having grown up in his grandparents’ shop/post office in the scenic town of Brittas.
After doing his Leaving Cert, he combined studies in Business Management at IT Tallaght, whilst working in Dunnes Stores in Kilnamanagh.
Continuing his learning curve, Greene spent time developing his craft at some of the other big chains including Superquinn, Aldi and Centra.
“All the way through, I was planning on opening my own business,” said Jonathan.
“I could pick and choose the best elements of the stores I worked at and put them together to form Grocer.ie. I’ll continue to add quality fresh food categories to the existing range.”
The family shop in Brittas, which closed 10 years ago, now acts as a warehouse to store dry goods for the business.
The initial plan for the business model was conceived three years ago, Greene then undertook a start your own business course in the South Dublin LEO.
“While I have 40 years of grocery experience, I wouldn’t have known how to start a business from scratch. The LEO course provided skills in marketing, how to access funding, and I have been getting brilliant ongoing mentoring from Eamon May.”
“It’s early days but customer feedback has been great and customer retention is high. It’s just about getting the message out and growing the business. I believe this is a first in grocery retail, and I want this to be a platform for local food suppliers.”
Grocer.ie take orders Tuesday to Saturday, although Greene hopes to introduce a seven day a week service, once the business is established.