Sarah Buffo and her husband started their company eatGburg.com in April 2014 as a side project to their full times jobs.
Their company delivers lunch and dinner from local restaurants to residents of Galesburg and the surrounding area. Buffo said that because of their limited staff, both she and her husband give up their lunch hours in order to keep business going during the day.
“We don’t have any lunch time drivers right now, but we do have lunch hours. So we take turns and pretty much our lunch hours are spent making deliveries. That’s part of starting a business is making sacrifices and making yourself available,” Buffo said.
Almost a year later, they are still open and planning to double their offerings this spring.
Currently, the company has partnerships with The Cellar Pizzeria and Pub, Hammer’s General Feed Store, Cherry Street, Fat Fish Pub and Q’s Caf.
Buffo said that she hopes that in April, eatGburg.com will add five to seven restaurants to their website that customers can order food from.
She was unable to say which restaurants they are looking to do business with.
eatGburg.com allows customers to order food online or over the phone from the restaurants it has partnerships with. The menus for each restaurant are available online and individuals can customize their order through the website.
“We tried to design it so it’s just like a waitress is there asking you all the questions you would be asked if you were sitting at a table,” Buffo said.
According to Buffo, food is delivered to the address customers specify, generally in about 45 minutes.
Buffo grew up in the Galesburg area and after moving away for college and working several other jobs, she and her husband moved back to the area. Currently, she works as business manager for her family’s farm in addition to working for eatGburg.com.
She said she noticed a demand for delivery in Galesburg, as many restaurants do not offer the option themselves.
“A lot of them said that they’ve tried delivery in the past, but they just didn’t have quite the demand to justify paying a driver. … So what we’re doing is pooling all that delivery demand, which makes it a possibility for all of these restaurants to say, ‘Yes, we do offer delivery.’”
According to Buffo the business has been steadily growing. She and her husband are currently navigating the process of hiring drivers without overexerting themselves with the added expense. She cited an increased need for marketing as another challenge they are working with.
She said that in the future, she does not plan to expand the area that the company serves, but may consider adding other delivery services, like dry cleaning pickup and delivery or grocery delivery.
She said that the winter weather has driven in business to them and aided them in growing the company.
“The winter has been good to us. As far as we’re concerned, it can snow as much as it likes, because that just drives our sales up.”