Harvest Express Brings Online Grocery Service to Detroit

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meaning Harvest Express will keep dry goods stocked in the company’s warehouse on the North End and will coordinate perishables with wholesalers, many located at Eastern Market, on a daily basis depending on what customers have ordered. Brooks says as long as a customer orders by midnight, they’ll get their groceries delivered the next day. She compares Harvest Express’s prices with those at Trader Joe’s, and plans charge a $4 delivery fee per order or an annual membership fee of $99, which would cover delivery charges for a year.

Brooks wants to highlight local farms and food manufacturers, so Harvest Express will offer detailed information to customers about who’s producing the food it carries. “The goal is to source locally as much as possible,” she says. “Those kinds of partnerships are perfect for promoting on the site. You’ll always have a name, a face, and a backstory.” To help personalize the experience, the Harvest Express website will also be able to suggest products based on a customer’s dietary restrictions, save shopping lists, and remind regular shoppers if they’ve forgotten an item that they usually order.

Brooks says Harvest Express is putting the funding from Enterprising Health, a business accelerator for startups with solutions to improve health in Detroit and the surrounding communities, toward launching the beta test in January. (Interested customers can go to the site and enter their email addresses for more information.) “I feel pretty confident, but I think the hardest sell will be the initial upfront trial,” she adds. “Once people trust us, I think we’ll be successful in developing long-term relationships with our customers.”

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Sarah Schmid Stevenson is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET_AA

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