Having food delivered to your home is nothing new.
Grocery Gazelle, a home-based Internet business created and operated by Grandview Heights residents David and Nicole Korson, takes home delivery to a whole new level.
Grocery Gazelle allows customers to submit a shopping list to the Korsons. They purchase the food at a Kroger store just before delivering it at a time specified by the customer.
"It's a concept that exists in other states, but there's really no business quite like this in Columbus," David Korson said.
"It may seem like a strange concept, but you have pizza delivered to your home. Why not groceries?" Nicole Korson said.
The couple started the business in early November and operate it using their computer at home.
The germ of the idea came to Nicole, who calls herself "a good little shopper," about five years ago when she was undergoing treatment for cancer.
"If it wasn't for the generosity of friends and family, I don't know what we would have done, because I was the shopper," she said. "It got me to thinking, 'What do people do if they are infirm or elderly?' "
More recently, David was a victim of the recession, losing a job he had held for 17 years.
"It was an opportunity to start this business up and see what happened," he said.
The Korsons have been surprised at the volume of business.
"Even though we didn't do a lot of advertising, we're getting more customers more quickly than I expected," Nicole said. "It's not what I imagined. I thought we'd have a lot of busy professionals who work downtown as our customers."
But the customer list is varied, including professionals, senior citizens and ill residents, college students who schedule their grocery deliveries for between classes, and "just people who say, 'I really don't want to do this myself,' " Nicole said.
Businesses also have used the service to order food for their break rooms or office parties.
A few specialty grocers offer home delivery in Columbus, David said, but he added he's surprised someone else hadn't come up with the idea of delivering products from regular grocery stores.
"With the Internet, it's so easy to do," he said. "I really think this is a wave of the future."
Customers can visit GroceryGazelle.com to place their orders.
While there aren't as many items available as in an actual grocery store, customers can select from among thousands of items, David said.
"You just select an item and add it to your cart, like you do on Amazon.com," he said.
"We're flexible in that people can let us know what type of item they would like us to add to our list and we can add it," Nicole said.
There is no registration or membership fee required. Customers are charged a $10 delivery fee per order, but only a penny for orders over $75. Payments can be made using PayPal or a credit card.
"We do all the shopping at Kroger because we want a standard quality of the produce and items we buy for our customers," Nicole said.
Grocery Gazelle offers delivery service to all of Columbus and Franklin County and portions of Delaware County.
Most deliveries are made between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., David said.
"It's really working out even better than we expected," he said. "There might come a time when we will have to hire someone to help with deliveries."