By Caroline Pelletier
It’s 9 p.m. and the keg has already run dry. You want some more beer because you’re not drunk enough. Yet you’re too drunk to walk the six blocks to the Beer Store.
Chad Lavallee, founder of Web-based beer delivery service called thebeerguy.ca, has the answer, as he was once a thirsty Ryerson student too.
“I was just looking for something to bring in a little extra cash for myself,” says Lavallee, who graduated from the computer science program in 2001. “I used to deliver companies a lot when I was in university.”
For a delivery charge of $6.45, Lavallee’s service will provide you with booze at your doorstop within the hour. The prices are identical to what you would pay at the store.
Lavallee, who started the business in November, says his target market is Ryerson students.
“I know the area, I know the people, and I know what it was like going to university there,” he says. “I thought I’d return the favour.”
Lavallee claims his is the first company in the world to use the Internet to process deliveries of bee that arrive in less than an hour.
He says he searched for other sites on the Internet similar to his and found none that guaranteed beer delivery as quick.
To purchase beer from the site, the thirsty Web surfer first has to create a free account. From there it’s only a matter of picking your favourite brand. Lavallee says the site offers any kind of beer you can buy in Toronto – about 300 kinds.
He then contacts Remo’s Last Call delivery service, which acts like a sober friend and dashes to The Beer Store or an LCBO to grab a pack of cold ones.
The customers must pay in cash at the door, but Lavallee hopes to make credit card payments available on the site soon.
At the end of the month, Lavallee invoices the delivery service for $1.50 per order. He has made about $200 so far with four regular customers and 40 people signed up to use the site.
So far the only marketing he’s done was distributing flyers to every door in the Neill-Wycik residence. He currently only delivers beer to the area bordered by the waterfront, Eglinton Avenue to the north, Spadina Avenue to the east, Lavallee said he hopes to increase the delivery area.
He also hopes to provide cigarettes and other products on the site in the future.
To prevent minors from ordering from the site, Lavallee says he checks for ID with first-time users.