The word “concierge” most often relates to the hotel industry. But a new sustainable grocery delivery program via electric-powered bicycles is bringing concierge hospitality and convenience to Whole Foods shopping. FreshFoodBike.com delivers up to 100 pounds of concierge-shopped groceries and other store products from the Whole Foods at 3rd and Fairfax to L.A. residents from UCLA to USC and most points in between both campuses.
Founded by Tohid Naeem, FreshFoodBike.com delivers goods via electric-powered bicycles charged by Whole Foods’ solar panel array. E3 Metro eBikes transport deliveries, a process that is made possible by sponsorship from electric bike retailer IZip Store in Venice and Burley’s Travoy Urban Trailer. Naeem is FreshFoodBike.com’s sole Sustainable Delivery Concierge, but one of the company’s “founding goals is to create a fleet of sustainable jobs in Los Angeles,” he told us in an email.
Another advantage of using the delivery service besides its convenience, is the gift basket option. Customers from anywhere in the nation are able to customize a basket as a present for a local, and Tohid told us that he uses his “20+ years of experience in luxury shopping, nutrition, skincare, health and gourmet foods to make each gift basket special, suited for the occasion, diet or budget”. The service accommodates those following non-GMO, kosher, gluten-free, halal, vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian, keto, and paleolithic diets. Recently, Naeem took a quick break from pedaling around town to chat with us about his green grocery initiative.
What inspired you to create FreshFoodBike.com?
“There’s nothing more I love than shopping at Whole Foods and being outdoors, especially in Los Angeles. With the support of Whole Foods Market 3rd & Fairfax, I am able to combine those passions, provide a service to the community and eventually create jobs, sustainably”.
Why Whole Foods?
“I have been shopping at Whole Foods Market stores ever since I moved to L.A. from NYC. I love the fact that Whole Foods Market is committed to sustainability and supporting local vendors. You can actually see a picture of the farmer who grew your tomatoes, the aqua farmer that raised your sustainable seafood and meet the single mother who runs her company with her 5- and 8-year-old kids, e.g. Late July Organics”.
Why Whole Foods on 3rd and Fairfax?
“Whole Foods Market 3rd & Fairfax’s Store Team Leader, David Stephen-Lane, immediately saw the potential of FreshFoodBike.com when I pitched him the idea in May, 2011. FreshFoodBike is proud to have a sponsor such as David who genuinely cares about his employees, customers, the community and the environment. His knowledge about sustainability and the level of customer service he provides is unparalleled. I am learning from the best and consider Whole Foods 3rd & Fairfax home as long as David is at the helm”.
Do you plan to branch out to other Whole Foods locations in L.A.?
“Whole Foods Market management has asked FreshFoodBike.com to branch out to their other stores in the region. Whole Foods Customers from Whole Foods Market West Hollywood and Beverly Hills should expect to see a fleet of FreshFoodBike.com’s eBike-riding Sustainable Delivery Concierges within the next year, touch wood”.
When did FreshFoodBike.com pedal its first Whole Foods delivery?
“FreshFoodBike.com was pitched to WFM 3rd & Fairfax on Friday, May 13, 2011 and made its first delivery on Monday, May 16th”.
Who are your customers, and how are they reacting to the service so far?
“FreshFoodBike.com customers range from college students at USC to the homebound, e.g. new parents, people recovering from surgery and the elderly, and everyone in between. FreshFoodBike.com receives requests from all corners of the globe to take advantage of our concierge shopping and sustainable delivery of gift baskets, natural medicines and groceries to loved ones living in Los Angeles. Most recently, a mother called from Texas and asked us to take care of her daughter who broke her foot. She told us that she was thrilled to have found us and that FreshFoodBike.com saved her the price of a plane ticket, as I try to spend as much time as possible with customers who need assistance for whatever reason”.
How many regular customers do you have currently?
“FreshFoodBike.com is proud to serve a handful of regular customers at USC, in Hancock Park, Westwood and Koreatown”.
What products do customers order most often?
“FreshFoodBike.com customers usually take advantage of our concierge shopping service as opposed to providing a specific list. I recommend only the products I have personally tested and usually refer quality brands that are sustainable, organic, locally produced or sourced and of course, delicious. Some of the brands I love are JumpStarter BodyFuel bars by Chef Linda Ikeda, Hail Merry’s desserts by Chef Susan Geddie O’Brien, O’Brothers Organic Hot Sauce and Late July Organics chips and snacks”.
Can customers order Whole Foods products besides food, like makeup, vitamins and hair products?
“Most definitely! Whole Foods Market 3rd & Fairfax’s Whole Body department carries everything you need, from baby-essentials to hair dye. I personally shop for all of my beauty needs and supplements exclusively from Whole Body. Their selection of quality, organic and cruelty-free products cannot be beat”.
Do you wish someone would deliver Whole Foods on a bicycle to you?
“I don’t think anybody could deliver the level of service I provide my customers, though it would be nice”.