The CEO and co-founder of Trellus Same-Day Local Delivery & Marketplace, Adam Haber, was recently interviewed by WRHU Radio, the radio station for Hofstra University, a private institution in Nassau County, NY. The student interviewers asked Adam about his inspiration behind Trellus, and why small businesses might choose Trellus as opposed to Amazon or other delivery companies.
Read the transcript of the interview below.
WRHU Radio: Joining us now is Trellus CEO and co-founder Adam Haber. Trellus is a local delivery service and marketplace that services local Long Island businesses. Can you walk us through a little bit about what Trellus is and its mission statement?
Adam Haber: Well, thanks for having me. First of all, it’s good to be here. Trellus is an on-demand, same-day local delivery service and marketplace that was built to fill the need of helping small businesses — “the little guy” getting crushed by Amazon — survive and thrive in a world where e-commerce rules. The idea came from when I was taking my son to college… [The town] had a Target, a Walmart, and a Wendy’s. It was a sterile, lifeless place where I couldn’t imagine living. I like local shops where people know your names. And the whole purpose of Trellus is to help these companies and small businesses stay in business.
And when you look at a company such as Amazon, that’s a go-to for many people, especially during the holiday season when you could get your packages in a day or two. But why should Long Island businesses choose Trellus as opposed to Amazon or other delivery companies?
So there’s a value add for the consumer. Basically, people will shop based on either price or time. Trellus is never going to beat Amazon on price because they have tens of thousands, if not millions of vendors [competing on price]. But our company basically beats any delivery service on time, we get to your small business within a half-hour to 2.5 hours and deliver to your neighbors, friends, and family all over Long Island and Queens same-day, usually within two hours. If you’re running late, and you need a gift — you want chocolates, toys, hardware, clothing — we’re the go-to small business delivery service.
WRHU Radio: Can you walk us through how it was setting up this business, including some challenges you faced and where your business currently stands now?
That’s a great question. So I’m a serial entrepreneur… and I love coming out of the gate trying to figure out how things work. And with any small business, you really have to try to do it as cheaply as possible and figure out if you have a model. So I spent six months going door-to-door, good old-fashioned shoe leather, knocking on doors, speaking to business owners, signing people up, creating a bare-bones marketplace where people can shop local, and figuring it out. We did that at a very low cost and price. And when small businesses started calling us and asking if we could help them, too, we went out and raised a seed round of over $2 million. We’re all in and we’re off to the races!
So for that Long Island business owner who’s intimidated by the big corporations such as Amazon, what type of advice do you have for them starting up?
Well, most of the small business owners have been [selling in store] forever, right? So they’re afraid to change. But unfortunately, and this is a little harsh, the mantra is “adapt or die.” One out of every $5 is now spent online, so you’re losing 20% of your business by not being able to offer people online, on-demand delivery. It’s just the way the world is going.
Most people, including my kids who are Millennials, and younger, only shop online. They don’t go into stores anymore. And the idea of “I want my customer to come in” just isn’t happening, especially with COVID. This is a way for small businesses to reach their customers and beat Amazon at their own game.
Now before we let you go, is there anything you would like for those local Long Islanders who are looking to find new ways of shopping? What are some things you would like to tell them?
If you go to our website, www.bytrellus.com we have well over 100 vendors all over Nassau County and in western Suffolk, all the way out to the Sagtikos Parkway. We deliver from Long Island to Queens. If you want to get a gift last minute to support local business, or you’re a last-minute shopper and you don’t want to leave your house and you just want to a gift to magically show up on your doorstep using our tech, then just go to our website, explore some of those businesses and shop there.
The CEO and co-founder of Trellus, Adam Haber. Mr. Haber, thank you so much for taking the time.
This was great. Thanks for having me!
Thank you to WRHU Radio at Hofstra University for a great interview, and for sharing the recording.