Introducing Co-op Delivery with Lakbay Home Delivery!
River Valley Co-op Grocery Delivery? Yes, we can now deliver your co-op groceries right to your door!
We have partnered with Lakbay Home Delivery, previously known as Mundo Artisan Foods, to develop a delivery option that supports a woman-owned local business that shares our values. Before the pandemic, this small Northampton-based distributor regularly sampled foods and other products at our store. With food samples no longer allowed in stores, Mundo Artisan Foods pivoted to fill a new need and has adopted home delivery as a solution for keeping their staff employed and business running.
We know home delivery is an important service for many of our co-op owners and customers. We've worked hard to upgrade our online ordering platform for curbside pick-ups, and we have been working with Sherryla Diola, Lakbay's founder, to provide the delivery service as an added service feature.
How would you best describe the history of your business and the ways it’s benefitted our local communities?
Mundo Artisan Foods was a wholesale food distribution and marketing company servicing local food producers in Western Massachusetts. We worked closely with mom-and-pop stores and local food grocers to bridge the gap and make it more convenient for buyers to find local artisanal products. Due to the pandemic, we pivoted the business into Lakbay Home Delivery (pronounced lok-bai, the Filipino word for ‘travel’). Lakbay will offer deliveries of food and other items to customers throughout the valley. We hope to enable our community members to enjoy the stores and services they love while providing a safe pathway for them to do so.
The pandemic has changed a lot about our local food system. How did you decide a home delivery service was right for your business?
Mundo Artisan Foods got its start with wholesale deliveries of artisanal products, so logistics management became one of our strengths. Still, we wanted to understand feedback from customers in a more direct and personable manner that went above and beyond simply dropping off our products at store delivery docks, therefore we began offering food samples of our clients’ products on-site. This direct connection to our customers gave us a greater understanding of how we and our artisan food providers could maximize customer value. With in-store food sampling eliminated during the pandemic, delivery service was a natural extension that allowed us to continue that (now contactless) touchpoint and personalized service.
How might you operate your delivery service during the pandemic and beyond?
Safety, sanitation, reliability and the comfort of our customers is the baseline of Lakbay Home Delivery. We sanitize our delivery vehicles and the surfaces we touch during the delivery process every day. We also rigorously adhere to the CDC’s guidelines on how to best protect both our customers and staff from the virus. We also believe, during this difficult time of uncertainty and enduring more insulation than we are used to, that connectedness and encouragement are vastly important. This is why we include a card with an inspirational quote in each order, hoping to brighten the day of every recipient of a Lakbay delivery.
Why is it so much more empowering for a small, local business like yours to deliver groceries as opposed to one of the large delivery companies?
Supporting local businesses and having their support in return is empowering because it gives a sense of community. Seeing our community come together during such difficult times reinforces the sense that we’re all here for each other.
What are your hopes and expectations for the future of Lakbay Home Delivery?
Our hope is that we continue to provide a necessary service to our community and evolve alongside the community’s future needs. We are thrilled to be working with River Valley Co-op, and we look forward to our further expansions yet to come!