California-based online grocery startup Farmstead recently opened the waitlist for its upcoming Chicago service launch. Waitlist signups are limited to the first 1,000 customers. Farmstead services are scheduled to begin in early 2022, and will initially be available in both the city of Chicago and nearby suburbs (see map here), with no-fee delivery in as little as one hour.
Chicago is Farmstead’s fifth market. The company’s service originated in the San Francisco Bay area, and is also available in Miami, Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. Farmstead offers a mix of local and national brands at fair prices. Customers can choose a same-day delivery slot for two- or three-hour guaranteed delivery for one-off orders, every day orders, or a free once-a-week delivery subscription. All Farmstead deliveries are batched together with other orders in the same neighborhood, to reduce carbon emissions.
More than 70% of Farmstead customers eventually sign up for weekly deliveries, according to the company, earning additional discounts on staple products they purchase regularly, while getting guaranteed delivery windows each week.
Farmstead leverages proprietary artificial intelligence technology and a dark store model (i.e. fulfillment warehouses that generally serve a 50-mile radius) to maximize efficiency and reduce costs. Farmstead is securing a warehouse in Chicago for same-day delivery in the city and suburbs by the end of March, according to the Chicago Tribune. The company is growing quickly, with plans to expand nationwide to a primarily suburban, mid-market audience.
“Chicagoans love grocery delivery — we’ve had hundreds of requests to expand our service there,” said Pradeep Elankumaran, co-founder and CEO at Farmstead, in a news release. “Right now, their available delivery options come with high fees and markups.”