‘Teddy’ is finally here in the ‘09’ and officially ready to roll in the jewel of the South, Queenstown. Teddy is the grocery store ready to deliver, in a few short minutes, those essentials you forgot to pick up in your main shop this week, and it’s just too damn long to wait for the next one.
Founders and co-owners Chaz Savage and brothers Ricki and Daniel Taiaroa are using their considerable experience in delivering what customers really need and want in 30 minutes, with an app, two dark stores and a fleet of Ubco electric motorbikes – all designed to fill the pantry, the cellar or the fridge, at pace.
“We’re shooting for the moon,” says Savage who, together with the Taiaroa boys, has been building the business and courting suppliers, including a host of NZ’s big and boutique brands, and investors like Sir Stephen Tindall’s K1W1, who see a space for on-demand groceries for Kiwis who are short on the one thing we never have enough of – time.
“We’ve drawn inspiration from other epically successful brands like Getir (UK), Gorillas (Europe) and Milk Run (Australia) who have speed at the heart of their promise for punters. Attention spans have shortened and so have customer expectations for deliveries. We’ve tapped into the insights from these amazing players and we’re applying a local lens.
“While inner-city customers in Europe can expect 10 to 15 minute deliveries, Kiwis have told us 30 minutes is fast enough, so that’s what we’ve planned for and how we’ve engineered our solution. Life is so frantic these days, that having to wait around for a grocery delivery is a huge drag, let alone heading out into the traffic to pick up those two key ingredients you forgot for the Ottolenghi recipe you’re trying out on your mates Saturday.”
The Teddy team believes New Zealand grocery landscape needs a disruptor, and they’re up for the challenge, taking on the big guys, supporting small, supporting innovation and supporting local. They have expert drivers who are ready to put pedal to the metal (safely!), using the best routes to get customers’ goods to them, fast.
Taiaroa (Ricki) says, “We are tackling the challenge of super-fast grocery solutions in a unique number-8-wire-Kiwi way. We don’t have an Elon-like line up of 300 developers, we have two, but the great thing about doing more with less is that it forces strict prioritisation.
“We’re a whānau of problem solvers. It’s no longer acceptable to wait hours or days for the groceries you need. Our customers demand the same responsiveness they get from their mobile. So, we’ve brought the absolute best on board to help deliver Teddy – and the team we have in Auckland and Queenstown will also benefit from an Employee Share Ownership Programme. If you have skin in the game, you’re bound to want to make it work.
“We’re starting in Queenstown and Auckland for a couple of key reasons. One, we actually bought a business in Queenstown which we flipped into a beta for Teddy, and two, Auckland represents the bigger opportunity right now to help us scale up quickly to test all the amazing plans we have to make some killer waves in the grocery scene.
“Christchurch – we’re looking at you, next, and Wellington soon after that.”
Another factor important to the team is to operate with a reduced carbon footprint, hence a tie-up with Ubco, one of New Zealand’s most inspirational start-ups.
Taiaroa says, “Electric is the future and ensuring our impact is as negligible as possible is essential. When people use Teddy for their shop-between-shops, their carbon footprints will be reduced compared to driving to the store. I have no problem with our drivers recharging in a supermarket carpark if they get caught short!”
The 12-month timeline for time-busting Teddy has seen the three founders:
– Build an awesome brand, Teddy, a play on the Māori phrase ‘kia tere’ (with thanks to HeyYou)
– Develop a kick-ass campaign that is going to blow the socks off Auckland (and NZ) (ka
– Raise a pre-seed round backed by NZ’s best and brightest (including Sir Stephen Tindall’s venture firm K1W1)
– Build smooth, fast mobile apps for iOS and Android (with Australia’s Digital Creators)
– Build a fantastic dark store in Queenstown
– Fling open the doors on a dark store and hub in Auckland
– Hire some AMAZING crew and create jobs for locals. Key hires include Holly Phillips, one of Aotearoa’s most up and coming marketers as CMO (Lightbox, Neon, Certn, String Theory) and superstar Chief Technology Officer Dion Yiw.
– Map bike routes in Tahuna / Queenstown and Tāmaki Makaurau
– And put actual real thought into a sustainable business model, taking the weekly ‘can’t be done’ articles with a grain of salt.
Savage says, “We are now ready to roll. We’ve charged up the electric bikes and the shelves and the chillers are stocked and waiting.
“All you need to do is download the app (App store or Google Play), place an order and choose your delivery – ‘Turbo’ and it’s 30 minutes, ‘Pool’ and it’s a smidgen slower, but it still means you don’t need to leave the comfort of your city pad to get the sesame oil, the premium coconut cream, and the chilli sauce you were told to get days ago, and clean forgot. To kick off on the right foot, customers get 20% off their first order in November using the code GOTEDDY and all app downloads for the rest of the year go in the draw to win a $1000 grocery cre