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On a white table, a bottle of gin, a BG Reynolds pomegranate syrup bottle, and a bowl of limes sits in front of an Aria-Gin-branded bag.
A pomegranate gimlet kit from Aria Gin, delivered by At Your Door
Rachelle Hacmac / Official

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Botanist Bar Owners Create a Homegrown Delivery Service for Distilleries

The Portland-made delivery site hopes to evade the high-commission issues of other delivery apps

When Robbie Wilson and Matt Davidson, co-owners of the cocktail bar Botanist, started delivering free meals to service workers in late March, it wasn’t just an attempt to keep industry workers safe and fed during the COVID-19 pandemic; it was also a way to retain employees as delivery drivers. The bar owners, along with web developers Beardman Digital, created a site to manage the influx of requests for meals, optimizing routes for delivery drivers. Now the team is using that same online delivery system in a new way: At Your Door, currently an online delivery site for local distilleries, will grow into a larger, locally focused online market, delivering everything from restaurant meals to local spirits and wine to the doors of Portlanders.

At Your Door started delivering spirits in early May, after the Oregon Liquor Control Commission granted distillers the ability to deliver to Oregon homes last week, as well as local brewers and winemakers from around the state. Many distillers were at a loss for how to launch delivery when given the green light, and At Your Door is providing an easy answer. Customers file an order for delivery, and can include multiple distilleries, wineries, and other purveyors, and then At Your Door employees compile the order and deliver it the next day.

According to Wilson, it’s a solid start to what will be a much larger, more comprehensive delivery service. While the team is still figuring things out, the current plan is to provide a platform where customers can order restaurant meals, bottles of wine and spirits, and potentially even local artisan products like candles or soap, and get it delivered the next day. The program will include ready-to-make meals from local restaurants, with suggested pairings of things of things to add — for instance, a pasta dish from a beloved local restaurant might include suggestions of a negroni kit from Aria Gin, as well as a wine pairing from a local winery.

While it might not be as immediate as a service like Caviar, for the team it carries a number of benefits. “It’s the hyper-local market for people who really want to support their local industry as best they can,” says Davidson. While plans are still in development, the team wants to launch with a $10 delivery fee and no commission from the restaurants, unlike delivery apps which are currently facing considerable scrutiny for their business models — especially their considerably high commissions from restaurants.

Additionally, it would employ industry workers that would otherwise be out of work, and who are trained in Oregon Liquor Control Commission guidelines. “How can OLCC trust Grubhub? Are they going to take these [OLCC] classes?” says Wilson. “You can trust the people who already have the training, and we offer additional training for contactless ID checking.” Down the line, the team wants to be able to employ out-of-work servers to directly communicate with customers with meal recommendations and pairings, essentially delivering a digital version of a restaurant visit, to be delivered in one package.

The small team is working to bring on more distilleries, breweries, and wineries, and is already “beta-testing” meal deliveries with a small group of customers that previously signed up. The full service is expected to launch by the end of the month.

At Your Door [Official]
Oregon Distillers Can Now Deliver Spirits to Local Residents [EPDX]
It’s Time to Delete Your Delivery Apps [F&W]

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