BOONE — In the modern age, having items delivered is the easiest it has ever been. Companies such as DoorDash and GrubHub have built empires on delivering dinner, but they miss something that Watauga’s newest delivery service has tapped into.
Primo Deliveries was founded by Cameron LaBrutto and his wife as an extension of what they were already offering, grocery delivery. LaBrutto’s wife works in hospice care, and had many patients who could not go out on their own for shopping. As they continued delivering groceries and expanded their network, they decided to dive in and start the business.
“We kind of just got the idea to go forward with it,” LaBrutto said. “You know, just trying to help out the community, then we saw that it could be really needed so we decided to move forward.”
LaBrutto said the grocery deliveries were vital for many during the pandemic, but were also important for people who were already bogged down with too much going on to make a multi-hour trip to the store during the day. Adding to the grocery deliveries is Primo Deliveries working with Clean Eats, and LaBrutto said they plan to add more local businesses to their menu.
At the same time, he noted vacationers in the area have also been using the service.
“Why would people want to waste their time in the grocery store when you could be out,” LaBrutto said. “You can give us a day or two (heads-up), then you have all of your groceries there and you can go and have fun.”
However, one thing kept popping up in orders once the business took off, which was a hurdle LaBrutto did not expect.
“A lot of the orders included beer for the grocery orders,” LaBrutto said. “North Carolina has many laws that don’t really allow you to go to the grocery store, pick up beer for somebody and then deliver it to them. So, we did some research and we found the beer delivery.”
A byproduct of the COVID-19 pandemic is that delivering beer is legal in North Carolina, once certain conditions are met and the delivery service receives approval from the ABC Commission. The process includes the service receiving a beer permit, due to the fact that they keep the beer at their office instead of going to pick it up once an order is made. LaBrutto compared it to becoming a restaurant server with extra steps.
“I would say it’s a two-three month process,” LaBrutto said.
Currently, Primo Deliveries can deliver beer from Booneshine Brewing and Lost Province, but LaBrutto said they have been in talks with Appalachian Mountain Brewery and Blowing Rock Brewing.
Part of the businesses’ process in setting up the service was speaking with local law enforcement, who were very receptive to the business’s plan.
“Here’s the thing, if you’re delivering beer, people aren’t driving,” LaBrutto said. “It’s a safety thing and (law enforcement) found it very helpful. I didn’t think that it was a big deal until I spoke with a couple of ABC people and law enforcement; it’s going to keep drunk people off the road.”
LaBrutto noted that while it has a delivery charge, getting beer delivered is still cheaper than a DUI.
For more information, visit www.primodeliveriesmenus.com.