With the help of one UCF grocery delivery service, students won't have to trek to Publix to get fresh produce anymore.
Two University of Florida freshmen have founded a new grocery delivery business called Knight Grocery after launching a similar venture at UF.
Geared toward those who may not have the time or transportation to go grocery shopping on their own, the two-week-old business has been brought to UCF to make students' lives easier.
To order, students can visit the knightgrocery.com and browse through a menu of Publix items, which includes bakery, beauty and personal care, dairy, deli, frozen food, non-foods and, of course, the popular Publix subs.
After you've selected what you want, simply click "proceed to checkout" and you will be prompted to enter your address for delivery, phone number and email, along with the date and one-hour time interval you would like your groceries to be delivered.
"Make sure if it is past 9 a.m. You place your order for the next day or later because we do not do same-day delivery, unless the order is processed by 9 a.m.," the directions on the website states.
If you don't see an item on the menu you would like delivered, you can always request it on the link that reads, "Don't see an item you want?"
The Publix items featured on the menu match the current prices at the store. Customers will pay the service charge, from $5 to $20, and grocery cost after ordering their requested items.
Tax is not included on the site, and customers can have the option of paying the entire fee online or just the service charge — leaving the grocery cost to pay at the door. Although Knight Grocery caters to UCF students, its roots are in The Swamp.
It was founded by UF freshman finance major Alex Green, who came up with the idea of starting Gator Grocery, which launched in March of this year.
Green said it all started one night in January when he was thinking of an idea for a business.
"I kept changing the idea until finally I decided I wanted to start a delivery service," he said.
At first, Green wanted to start a service, which would deliver everything — whether it was groceries or fast food. After running that idea by some of his dorm floor mates, they agreed it would be too complicated to deliver everything. Because Green doesn't have a car and lives on campus, he knows the experience of having to rely on someone else to just go buy groceries, so the idea of a grocery delivery came to mind.
From there, Green turned to one of his closest friends to be his partner, UF freshman economics major Josh Montiel, his long-time friend.
"Alex told me about running a grocery delivery service, so we made the website and started asking people what they wanted to include in it," Montiel said.
Montiel and Green enlisted the help of freshmen UCF students Jeremy Batista and Justin Shapiro, with whom they went to high school, to launch the service at UCF.
Green decided it would be a great idea, and more profitable, if the company expanded to UCF — where he decided to have Batista and Shapiro handle the business on that end.
"It's a pretty good idea, especially for students on campus without cars," said Shapiro, a health sciences pre-clinical major.
Although Knight Grocery is still new to students, Batista and Shapiro are working to get the word out.
"We've had more than 1,000 views on the Facebook page, and the next step is just spreading the word by mouth," said Batista, a marketing major.
So far, the one-month-old Gator Grocery has been driving in more than an order every day, and Montiel sees the two businesses expanding in success.
"People have already said to us that they will use [the services] in the fall when they start getting into a new routine," Montiel said.
Green said he hopes the business will be successful with freshmen so when they become seniors, it will become a UCF staple.
Marina Guerges is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @marinaguerges or email her at MarinaG@CentralFloridaFuture.com.