In an age of ride-sharing and instant streaming, the lack of delivery options for restaurants in Wilsonville has been a topic of disappointed conversation among residents on social media.
But it wasn't until a pang of hunger and lack of ambition struck one day that resident Molly Martin saw an opportunity in the delivery desert to create We Deliver Eats.
"I was hungry and too lazy to go get something to eat," Matin says with a laugh. "So back in November I put up a post asking, 'Would you use (a delivery service)?' and the response was, 'Uhh, yes. Please.'
With a professional history in the food and deliveries industries, Martin started to look into the delivery options around Wilsonville and noticed that options were limited to select pizza, sandwich and Chinese restaurants — most of which have order minimums for delivery. Even for those wanting to order through a third-party delivery service from outside of Wilsonville would have been out of luck prior to March.
"The bigger services don't want to provide services to the suburbs," Martin says. "When we were looking at this, I was like, we have 62 restaurants within this area, including fast food. Why wouldn't they want to do this? It's a small area with that many restaurants."
But their loss is Martin's gain and her team, currently consisting of three drivers and Martin running the dispatch center, is keeping busy. With an average delivery time of 37 minutes during the dinner rush, happy customers have been singing "We Deliver Eats" praises in person and online, growing the company's customer base.
"It's kind of been word-of-mouth so far and we've been really busy," Martin says.
The fledgling company already has a large list of restaurants in the area that it delivers from and a partnership with several breweries as
"They all allow you to bring your own food in," Martin says. "So we've teamed up with them and given them cards that customers can use to order food while they're sitting there enjoying their beer."
Those looking for growler deliveries will soon also be in luck when We Deliver Eats' liqueur handling licence goes into effect in April.
As with any new business, Martin says that they're trying to make money and get off the ground but she adds that making money isn't the driving force behind the service.
"Everybody wants to make money, I'm not going to lie, but we're more in this to help the community," Martin says. "I've reached out to coaches and community organizations to say, 'Hey, we're here. If we can help you in any way, whether it be... a meal train where somebody has lost a family member and is needing food or they just need a hand up, we want to help. We'll give them a free delivery."
Martin says that the service is looking to expand to neighboring communities that also have limited or nonexistent delivery options, such as Canby, but that she and her drivers are plenty busy with Wilsonville.
"This is a town that's got 22,000 people living in it and during the week, Monday through Friday from eight to five o'clock, there are 57,000 people here," Martin says. "That's a lot of people that need food! And a lot of people can't leave their offices to go get it."
But even for those who aren't office-bound, Marin says that the elderly, disabled and busyfamilies are all also customers that they want to serve.
"It's definitely a need," Martin says. "It's not just about a convenience... If somebody needs something (delivered), call us, because all four of us have worked with several charity organizations and we know that not everybody can afford this all the time — we've all been there — so we want to do what we can to help the community and not just make money."