Sep. 10—Locale, a food delivery company with a focus on local restaurants and farms, has expanded its service to Gilroy.
Locale is the brainchild of Los Gatos natives and recent college graduates Chris Clark and Jonathan Friedland, who have seen their company grow from just 20 customers around their hometown to hundreds that stretch from Concord to Santa Cruz and South Santa Clara County in a little more than a year.
The idea struck when the friends from high school, after graduating from college in 2019, found themselves back at home with their parents when the pandemic hit in March 2020.
The two noticed the struggles facing the mom-and-pop restaurants, which were forced to close when health officials attempted to get a handle on the unknown threat of Covid-19.
Friedland noted that many people were ordering from the popular food delivery apps, such as DoorDash and Grubhub, yet those orders were only from large corporate chain restaurants, and not from those small-town establishments that are vital to the community's wellbeing.
So, Clark and Friedland partnered with Manresa Bread in downtown Los Gatos, and distributed a Google form among friends and family for delivery of organic berries and sourdough baguettes.
Word spread of the two entrepreneurs' efforts, and things went viral, Friedland recalled.
"We were super scrappy at first," he said, adding that in the beginning, himself and Clark would complete every order themselves, from getting the food, to packing it and delivering it. "From there, we just listened to our customers."
Other local restaurants and farms learned of their efforts, and reached out.
Now, Locale delivers more than 200 items to hundreds of customers per week, including products from Homeroom in Oakland, Wise Sons in San Francisco and Freedom Meat Lockers in Watsonville, as well as fresh produce from Terra Amico Farms in San Martin and ALBA in Salinas.
Locale's founders pride themselves in the fact that all these different foods from various establishments are delivered in a single box with only an additional $5 delivery fee.
"It's a way to support your local community and constantly try new food from across the Bay Area," Friedland said.
Locale's deliverers consist mostly of local students, who are searching for flexible work during the pandemic, Friedland noted, adding that the company hired more than 200 students and surpassed 15,000 deliveries since its inception in May 2020.
Friedland said he's excited about the expansion to Gilroy, after receiving a strong response with Locale's recent launch in Morgan Hill, where it delivers to roughly 50 customers a week.
"Our mission is to make shopping local as easy as shopping online," he said.
For information, visit shoplocale.com.