Recent WSU Grads Offer Weekly Apple Delivery Service to Offices
We’ve all been there. You’re hungry. You want something good, but there’s no time. You hit the vending machine for sugar or salt.
Two recent Washington State University graduates want to change that. They've launched an urban apple delivery service called Apple-A-Day, and it’s taking off.
Apple-A-Day got its start in the Mecca of apple-country—Yakima, Washington. It’s a simple plan: load the freshest apples possible into a mini fridge in people’s workplaces every Monday. Charge the employer for the healthy service, but make the apples free to employees.
Co-owner Danielle LaRiviere makes many of the Monday deliveries herself in her apple-stuffed white Jeep.
At each stop, she inspects, loads, and counts out the apples before going in to wipe down and fill the tiny fridges. With 24 fresh apples in place for workers, she’s off to the next place.
“I guess you could say I’ve been an entrepreneur since a little kid,” said La Riviere.
She remembers making the rounds when she was 5 years old.
“We had all these different cereals, and I’d put them in these little baggies. Like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, I’d put them in this Ziploc bag, and I’d go around and ring people’s doorbells and ask if they want to buy these bags of cereal,” she said.
Apple-A-Day started when LaRiviere was looking for a job during her summer break. Her father, an insurance agent, had a dream of starting an apple delivery business for office workers.
LaRiviere asked her father if she could take the idea and run. He provided the start-up money.
After working hard to build the business, she managed to keep it going while finishing up school in Pullman. Now, when she makes deliveries, “sometimes when I come in, people will literally start cheering and say, ‘It’s the apple girl!’ And they get so excited,” she said.
When LaRiviere graduated from WSU last year, she expanded into Bellevue, partnering with her sorority sister Lexi Schmidt.
Schmidt says she really doesn’t want to give up her delivery days to employees.
“But I think we’re going to have to do that once we keep on growing,” Schmidt said.
Apple-A-Day has landed high-end car dealerships, hospitals and even power companies. John Brondello, who employees about 10 people in his Bellevue office, says he didn’t think much about providing a benefit like this to his employees until he met the Apple-A-Day team at a networking event.
“The thing I like best about it is I don’t have to think about it. They show up every Monday, and I get fresh apples. And the employees love having it available,” he said.
The Apple-A-Day service costs about $99 per month for 24 apples a week. The company has about 70 accounts now in the Bellevue area. Once that number grows to 100, the team plans to take on Seattle.