Thursday, October 27, 2016

Have Bike, Will Courier: Cypress Park cyclists pedal their way into the delivery business

Courtesy Northeast Courier

Courtesy Northeast Courier


CYPRESS PARK — Coming to the rescue of stay-at-home moms, contract freelancers and late night partiers is a brand new courier service that delivers food, flowers, artwork and more.

Northeast Courier was started about two months ago by Cypress Park residents Johnny Torres Corral, Dalia Palacios and Javier Rodriguez, 20-somethings who see their bike delivery service as a way for local business to connect to the community.

“We are trying to see if we can create community with our bicycles,” says Corral who usually rides a Cannondale Road Bike. In the past, he and partner Rodriguez worked as bike couriers in Downtown Los Angeles. “That’s a whole different life down there, so fast and up crazy late at night,” he said.  But they decided to take their love of cycling to an area closer to home with a slower pace, namely Northeast L.A.

“We talk with the businesses, the customers and learn what’s going on in the neighborhoods, learning what matters to people,” explains Corral. “The courier business is evolving to something else these days. It’s not delivering business documents anymore.”

“They are great neighborhood kids trying to fill a void,” says Chris Stewart, manager at Highland Park’s Good Girl Dinette, one restaurant that has been partnering with couriers for food delivery. “They are earnest, nice, positive and fast. All our customers love them.”

Stewart says that his customers mainly use the delivery service for lunchtime. “These are freelancers who work at home and look up and realize it’s 4 p.m. and they haven’t eaten lunch yet,” he says. “They are on deadline and can’t get away. So they call.”

Other niche markets: new or overwhelmed parents and car-less Millennials.

“Moms who can’t leave their houses because of the kids call us,” says Corral. “And then there are people our age who are working at home or getting together with friends and they don’t want to go out. So we bring them what they need.”

Right now, Northeast Couriers is working mainly in Highland Park and Eagle Rock but plans to expand to Lincoln Park soon. In addition to Good Girl Dinette, the couriers have partnered with Highland Park’s Monte 52 as well as Frame Monster in Cypress Park to deliver framed artwork to customers.

While food has been the primary delivery object, Northeast Couriers is open to picking up and delivering other items. They recently delivered red roses to a customer’s partner. “That was real nice to deliver, she was so surprised,” says Corral. “I’d like to do more of that.”

Peddle-power is surprisingly not very pricey. The trio charges about $5 for delivery in a 2-mile radius. (They will accept tips.) If they need them to go a little further out of that circle, you may have to pay a few dollars more. Food is carried in special cargo compartments as well as insulated waterproof backpacks.

Riding his bike through the neighborhoods, Corral says he has a new appreciation for the geography and traffic patterns of Northeast LA. “Many times you don’t want to take the main street because it’s too traffic,” said Corral.

“I see all these different little sections of Highland Park, distinct neighborhoods,” said Corral, who is an art student along with his partners.  “The other day after the rain, it was so beautiful to be outside,” he says. “I loved seeing the clouds and I love being an urban traveler.”

Brenda Rees is a writer and resident of Eagle Rock.

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One comment

  1. We use these guys all the time for local deliveries and they are AWESOME!

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