Thanks to a new bike courier service, East Vancouver residents can now get anything from cheeseburgers to condoms delivered to their doorstep.
Godzilla Courier caters to people living between Nanaimo and Main Streets, King Edward to the waterfront, and company owner Philippe Lambrette says the pedal-powered delivery service has been steadily gaining momentum since launching in February.
Lambrette, who works for another bike courier company during the day, says he modelled his business after a successful food delivery service in San Francisco. Godzilla Courier currently operates Sunday to Thursday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 6 p.m. to midnight.
Lambrette said the first establishment that was interested in working with him was Mexican restaurant Bandidas, so he decided to build his delivery zone around it and focus on the Drive. “There are a lot of restaurants on Commercial Drive and it’s also really residential, so it made sense,” Lambrette said.
While he has agreements with a few restaurants, customers can order food from anywhere within the zone and have it picked up for a $5 flat rate. If additional stops are needed, an extra $2 is added for each stop.
Lambrette, who’s originally from Belgium, got the idea for his business after chatting with Jamie Hooper, the owner of Super Champion Specialty Cycle Shop, where he gets his bike serviced. Hooper, who previously ran his own courier company delivering office supplies to businesses downtown, said Lambrette’s evening delivery service is well-suited to Vancouver. So much so, Hooper’s become a regular customer.
“Phil’s great, I order stuff from him all the time,” Hooper said. “I have a one-year-old at home. So if you’re at home and your kid is sleeping and it’s raining, you aren’t going to be able to quickly pop out to pick up something.”
Currently, Lambrette said he gets an average of four to five calls per night, with numbers increasing weekly. “We were asked if we would be willing to go further than Main Street and so I decided to add the second zone, which covers Main to Cambie,” he explained.
Besides food, they’ve delivered ice cream, macaroons and flowers, but Lambrette said they can deliver anything that can be transported in a 50-litre backpack such as beer, cigarettes, condoms or medication. “We have large insulated bags, so it keeps food warm and drinks cold,” Lambrette explained.
For alcohol and cigarette deliveries, customers must be at least 19 years of age and provide two pieces of ID.
“We are going to start something with R&B Brewery on April 4,” Lambrette added. “They want to work with us, so we are going to do some delivery for them and refueling people’s growlers.”
With the technology of Square, a portable swiping device, Lambrette is able to take credit card payments and have a receipt sent to customers via email or text message.
Working another bike courier job during the day, it’s hard to believe Lambrette has the energy to run a delivery service in the evening. Quite the opposite he says, claiming that running his own business makes him feel energized.
“It’s my company, it’s like my baby. People with children wouldn’t wake up in the middle of the night for their job, but they would do it for their baby. That’s how I feel.”
Lambrette is also starting up Godzilla Recycling, a weekly recycling pick-up service for small businesses. For more information, go to godzillacourier.com.
Note: This story has been corrected since it was first posted April 1.