It’s the classic house party dilemma: What happens when you run out of alcohol, and driving to get more isn’t an option? Local start-up Bottoms Up aims to solve this issue with their beer and wine delivery service, enabling Wilmington and Wrightsville beach residents to have a 12-pack of beer brought to their front door.
The idea started one night in May when Chief Operating Officer Shelby Brayton didn’t want to risk driving after finishing the last beer in his fridge. “I thought, how awesome would it be if someone could just bring this to me and there wouldn’t be any risk of driving?”
The former Marine turned to software engineering after his service, and currently works as a freelance developer. He along with co-founders Rachel Garland and Racheal Lenig decided to develop the idea into a business almost immediately. “Racheal is also a software engineer and Rachel specializes in business and marketing, so I figured we had the perfect team to start this idea…So we worked all summer and we’re launching the website on September 10 with deliveries starting the next night,” Brayton says.
In order to access the Bottoms Up delivery service, users sign into the website and create an account, which will first ask for a zip code to see if the you’re within the boundaries of a delivery. “As we start out we will be delivering from Porter’s Neck to Monkey Junction and Wrightsville Beach to Downtown Wilmington, and as more users sign up we’ll be able to see where we need to expand to,” says Brayton.
If you’re within the boundaries of delivery, then users create a profile with their address and payment information, a process Brayton says is easily comparable to signing up for an Uber account. “Then you select from one of our beers or wines, which for now come from major beer and wine distributors similar to what’s offered at your local grocery store, and after choosing the quantity you need and after you’ve paid for your purchase we’ll give an estimated time of delivery and information on your driver.”
Drivers then sort the orders from the company warehouse and upon delivery, “which may or may not be by a pirate,” says Garland (she’s not joking either), drivers will ask for identification along with assessing whether a consumer is still sober enough to drink. Once a driver can confirm this, a waiver is signed by the recipient stating they will not serve any of the purchased alcohol to a minor.
Bottoms Up users can purchase up to the maximum amount allowed by North Carolina law, which is up to nine cases of beer or 10 five-liter containers of wine, all of which is purchased online with no cash transactions taking place.
Once the website is launched, deliveries will take place between 6 p.m. and 1:45 a.m. Thursday through Sunday.
According to Brayton and Garland the entire team will be taking part in initial deliveries so the development of the website will have as many kinks identified as early as possible, creating an easier launch for the Bottoms Up mobile app expected later this year.
“Bottoms Up is about safety and convenience,” says Brayton. “If you’re hanging out with your friends watching a football game, you place an order with us and before the end of the fourth quarter we’re there…with ice cold beer.”
James Mieczkowski is a news reporter for Port City Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter: @mieczkowskiPCD