Updated: Feb 2, 2020
We can hardly believe it’s been a full year since we’ve asked the question, are you hungry?! On January 30, 2019, we officially launched the Ottawa Valley’s First and only food delivery service, an idea that was sparked by hunger, conversation, and creativity. As supporters and proponents of the “eat local” mentality, we thought how can we elevate that to make eating and supporting local, easy?
With a lack of delivery options available in the City of Pembroke and surrounding areas, we saw an opportunity to bring the ease and accessibility of big city living to our community. Let’s face it, a guy can only have so much pizza. We want variety. We want it brought to us. We want to eat it in our pjs. We want…Valley Eats.
In a short year, two guys from Pembroke, ON have been able to grow once was just an idea, and a delicious idea at that, to an innovative and user-friendly app with over 8000 active users. Valley Eats now services Pembroke, Petawawa, Whitewater region, Carleton Place, and Almonte with plans to expand. They’ve also been able to create 5 permanent positions, flexible employment for their 52 delivery drivers and put 80% of all revenue back into the local restaurants! Ryan and Dan, the founders of Valley Eats, and the reason we can have a Blendz smoothie delivered to our doorstep, have had the opportunity to reflect on the last year, their growth, and their vision for the future.
In addition to perks of taste-testing incredible local eats and treats, both Ryan and Dan find immense satisfaction in creating this company and filling a gap in service delivery in their community. When asked which parts of this process they’ve enjoyed most, they had the following to say:
Dan: I was all about the challenge of developing the software that would be used to make everything work together. This included building and developing three separate applications, a driver app, a restaurant app, and the Valley Eats app, to make it all work cohesively. I’m also pleasantly surprised at how quickly the app has grown here!
Ryan: As a creative, I enjoyed the design aspect of creating the marketing materials needed to build and grow the brand. From website, to in-app marketing, to branded collateral, I love it all.
We also had the opportunity to find out a few interesting facts about the app and its loyal users. Our favourite fact is that the Ottawa Valley LOVES. THEIR. POUTINE. Ryan said he’s surprised at the amount of poutine that is ordered through the app. But with incredible gourmet poutines available from restaurants like Valley Smokehouse, Sizzle Jacks, and Janna and Kerry’s (breakfast poutine anyone?!), it’s easy to see why. And, the most ordered item through Valley Eats? Pulled Pork Poutine!
When the app officially launched one year ago, the very first item ever ordered was 4 sunrise buns from Wilkies Fresh Baked Bread. As the app grew, they were able to bring more restaurant partners on offering more variety than your taste buds can imagine. Bread. Sandwiches. Crepes. Wings. Even doughnuts can be ordered through Valley Eats. And, users have the ability to communicate their orders to restaurants and even the option to provide special requests. You better believe Valley Eats customers don’t disappoint. Here is the funniest special request we’ve ever received through the app:
“Please give me as much tartar sauce as possible. Like legit an insane amount. An amount of tartar sauce that makes you say, ‘Wow. This lady is insane. Why so much tartar sauce? Is she suffering some type of tartar sauce deficiency? Should I fear her thirst for tartar sauce? Oh god. She is approaching me now with a gleam for tartar sauce in her eyes. Am I in trouble? Will she mistake me for tartar sauce? Oh god! God no! I'm a human being! Not a condiment!’ Yes. Please. That amount of tartar sauce.”
Certainly, it’s easy to love the work you do when it’s both fuelled by passion and permits you to interact with loyal and hilarious customers.
And as we reflect on the past year and the growth we’ve had, it makes us incredibly excited for what’s to come. Dan and Ryan are excited for the potential Valley Eats has to get bigger and better for their customers and their restaurant partners. They currently have a major app overhaul coming and can’t wait to share it with everyone. Plus they’re working on a rewards program called Valley Eats Perks! The (free) rewards program will provide added perks to loyal Valley Eats customers and will be designed to give you the most out of your Valley Eats experience. We're also excited to expand delivery service to other smaller communities and provide the same access to great local eats in as many places as possible.
Ryan and Dan created Valley Eats from a conversation followed by innovation and hard work. There are so many entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs-in-the-making that are inspired by what the guys have been able to build in just a short year. They have some advice to new entrepreneurs:
“This biggest thing that could be said is that if you have an idea, and not only believe 100% in it, but can be surrounded by others who also have your back, this is a huge benefit. When you go off on your own to create something, your time and focus is almost always put towards what you are trying to build, there are sacrifices at the start but if you have people who support you 100% it will make it easier.”
We are so thankful for our incredible partners, drivers, staff, and customers. There’s no Valley Eats without a network of support and community that helps you succeed. We love being able to provide access to a variety of amazing local foods in a number of communities and yes, we love being able to use our own app to order lunch to the Valley Eats headquarters. We’ll leave you with a couple of fun facts about our founders:
Dan: Is one of the many Ottawa Valley poutine fans. He loves that he can get it now whenever he wants.
Ryan: Secretly wanted breakfast delivered to his house, so yes, he’s also a dedicated user of the app.
Are you hungry Ottawa Valley? Because we’re just getting started.
The Valley Eats Team