Friday, December 4, 2020

For some, business booming during coronavirus

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For food delivery workers, business has never been better.

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Zackary Landers delivers food by bicycle in Bremerton for UberEats and Postmates. He’s trying to take this time to work as much as possible. Landers said doing this gig is great for many reasons — bringing him extra income while also allowing him to exercise away from others, and helping those who may be vulnerable to the illness to get food without leaving their homes.

Landers is “pinged” when there’s a delivery to take while he’s logged on. Before COVID-19 hit, there were sometimes very few deliveries in the morning to lunch hours, but now he makes a habit of waking up early to find deliveries. Now he takes two or three in an hour and has orders coming in until dark when he stops.

The companies Landers delivers for have begun facilitating contactless deliveries so the deliverer can set the food on the doorstep without personal contact.

Food delivery may go hand-in-hand with another delivery service boding well while people are shuttered inside. Pelican Delivers, a cannabis delivery company based in Silverdale, has seen demand for deliveries skyrocket, said Charity Holden, chief marketing officer. She says the company works “like UberEats, for weed.”

Independently contracted drivers get a “ping” for a delivery, accept, then go get the product from the chosen licensed marijuana dispensary. The drivers take it to the customer after scanning their ID. Delivery drivers travel to dispensaries all around western Washington, and the company is expanding to California, Nevada and Michigan.

There are about 100 Pelican Delivery drivers in Kitsap County, and they pick up from Budeez and Better Buds. Right now, Holden said, everyone is rushing into dispensaries to stock up on weed along with their toilet paper and bread.

“But because the product will be consumed, people are going to run out in the next three or four days,” Holden said. “That’s when we expect to get even more slammed. Because what else are people going to do?”

Safety protocols have been put into place, so if a person is feeling ill or just doesn’t want to be exposed to the driver, the driver can scan the ID through a window and complete the transaction by leaving the item right outside the door. People with compromised immune systems, whether they rely on cannabis to deal with pain or just for recreation, will still be able to safely get what they need.

“A lot of older people are coming in looking for holistic relief — they do not need to be out in public,” Holden said.

She says it also helps cannabis businesses stay open. Dispensaries can still sell their product, without customers coming in and congregating. Delivery orders can be made at www.pelicandelivers.com.

The same goes for those who raise chickens and sell their eggs. The prospect of empty grocery store shelves has people turning to neighborhood chicken coops for help with their breakfast.

Jess Liebentritt, who raises hens at her Olalla home, says she’s up to her ears in chicken and duck egg orders. Right now, she’s telling customers it’s a minimum of a two- or three-week turnaround for an order.

“Stores are sold out so people are turning to small farms,” she said.

She never thought she’d be turning customers away, though many are willing to wait the three weeks for some farm-fresh eggs. She sells a dozen chicken eggs for $4. Duck eggs are $4 a dozen, and quail eggs are $5 a dozen. 

Normally, Liebentritt sells enough eggs that her chickens pay for themselves, and her family has a few for their own use.

“I can’t tell you the last time I had an egg at this point.”

She even just bought 20 new chicks to prepare for future orders. Liebentritt hopes those buying eggs will be repeat customers, even after the COVID-19 craziness at grocery stores subsides.

Melissa Kolek also sells eggs from her South Kitsap home, but since the run on grocery stores, she’s been bartering more than anything. She couldn’t find sugar at the store, so she got some by trading for it with her eggs.

“I also have a waiting list for barters, which is new for us,” she said. 

Read or Share this story: https://www.kitsapsun.com/story/news/2020/03/20/for-some-business-booming-during-coronavirus/2886071001/

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