December 21, 2014

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Online grocery ordering coming to parts of Lorain County

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Busy families who can’t seem to fit it all in will have a new option: A Cleveland-based business is expanding its online grocery-ordering and home delivery service to North Ridgeville and Avon.

Presto Fresh Grocery, which began operations at the end of November, is entering Lorain County boasting close to 5,000 grocery items including fresh meats, produce and seafood, that are available for home delivery on its website, according to owner and founder Steve deMoulpied.

The fast-growing business now serves Cleveland and all of Cuyahoga County as well as Willoughby, Wickliffe and Eastlake in Lake County.

The selection of Avon and North Ridgeville in Lorain County came after deMoulpied studied entry into west-side markets for a time.

The two communities were chosen in part for the presence of a good number of white-collar, professional households as well as a desire to boost what deMoulpied said is the miniscule level of business in the world of e-commerce related to the food industry, he said.

“This is a huge opportunity in an area in which 1 percent of total grocery sales occur over the Internet,” deMoulpied said.

The website currently has 400 to 450 registered shoppers.

A sizable number of households in Avon and North Ridgeville represent the “segment of society that is very busy and places a premium on their time, and often finds it difficult to get to the store due to time constraints,” deMoulpied said.

And, he said, Presto Fresh Grocery has been getting quite a bit of interest from people in both towns asking about a possible expansion into Lorain County.

“This seemed to be the next natural location for us,” he said.

Similar in scope to other major online shopping operations, the grocery-ordering business lets customers fill orders after browsing its thousands of pictured grocery items in categories ranging from “breakfast and cereal,” “meat and seafood,” and “grains, pasta, beans,” to “organic and natural,” “deli” and “laundry, paper, cleaning.”

“In some areas as dairy, we may not have the pure volume as a grocery store may have, but we try to have enough of a cross-section in those items to make you shopping experience worthwhile,” deMoulpied said.

The online grocery-shopping service wants to promote area food businesses such as Twinsburg’s Day Lobster.

The seafood company sells lobster and other fresh seafood, which is shipped in every 24 hours from the Boston area, Florida and the West Coast.

Discounts of up to 15 percent are offered for volume purchases.

Shoppers can keep track of what they’re spending as they order groceries via an on-screen display that keeps a running tally.

“If you get close to your budget or go over it, you can click on the shopping cart to reduce the number of items or eliminate them,” deMoulpied said.

Once a shopper has completed an order, online payment is accepted by all major credit cards, and a delivery time is set up. Home deliveries are made by the company’s vans between 1 and 9 p.m. seven days a week in two-hour time blocks.

Delivery fees range from $7.95 to $9.95, depending on the total cost of grocery orders.

DeMoulpied knows he won’t corner the grocery shopping market, but he’s hoping to carve out a successful niche for the right customers.

“We realize this isn’t for everybody as some people really enjoy going to the store,” he said.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.

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