If you're a "support local" kind of person, then you can add a new Dallas service to your list of preferred vendors. It's called Lollidrop, and it's a streamlined alcohol delivery service started by four Dallas entrepreneurs who are pooling their smarts into a new venture.
They launched the service after feeling frustrated by the high prices most alcohol delivery services charge, as well as the long wait times to get orders delivered.
They come with major credentials.
Tony Hormillosa, whose day job is playing bass in Dallas rock band Pleasant Grove, has been in the messenger/delivery business for decades. He and his brother Robb Hormillosa previously founded Go Green Couriers, an eco-friendly delivery service using bicycles and hybrid vehicles, an idea way ahead of its time.
The brothers were working on a project in downtown Los Angeles and would occasionally order beverages from a liquor store, who would deliver them via bicycle. They began thinking about the idea of layering software over a liquor store concept, to make it easy for people to order on-demand alcohol.
"We wanted a business where we could control the entire process and not have to rely on a third party to contract us for deliveries," Tony says.
They partnered with Henry Talamantes, Lollidrop's chief revenue officer and a "serial entrepreneur" who previously founded Fetch Package; and Matt Shipley, a software guru who cofounded My Walk Book, a mobile survey program, and worked for GoMatic, an early online grocery company.
They've launched their first Lollipop Hub in Dallas County, with a liquor store's worth of wine, beer, seltzers, spirits, and "extras" such as sodas, bitters, Luxardo maraschino cherries, and bags of ice at a bargain price of $3.99 for a 10-pound bag.
Beer options range from Yuengling to Deep Ellum Brewing to White Claw. Spirits include everything from Fireball Cinnamon Whisky to Four Roses Bourbon to all the ingredients for a Campari Spritz: Campari, Pellegrino sparkling, La Marca Prosecco, and a fresh orange.
Talamantes says they've taken key steps to make sure they can deliver more quickly and at a price that compares with a regular liquor store, versus the marked-up prices charged by other alcohol delivery companies.
"All the other services like Drizly or Minibar are all pure software — a marketplace where companies can sell products on their platform," Talamantes says. "And liquor stores don't want to be in delivery game so they outsource drivers, who are doing Uber, pizza delivery, etcetera. When we looked at that, it seemed inefficient."
Talamante says that they decided to tackle the difficult task of getting permitted as a package store — but treating it as a hub for delivery, instead of opening to the public. It's as if the company is bringing the ghost kitchen concept to liquor stores — cutting out the cost of a storefront.
"We have a TABC permit so we're an actual liquor store, and that allows us to match liquor store prices," Talamante says. "By controlling the inventory, we are able to do things that Drizly and other third party apps can't do."
They're using the same distributors who supply chains like Goody Goody, so their current inventory includes what you might find at any standard liquor store. As they ramp up, they plan to go back and fill in with local brands.
And with their own drivers, they say that orders can arrive in 30 minutes, depending on demand.
They're currently able to deliver to most, though not all, neighborhoods in Dallas County. Deliveries are made in bright purple Booze Wagons. They'll be expanding in the DFW area down the road.
"When we tell people that it's retail pricing and free delivery, we get the same response — disbelief," Talamantes says. "It's really about tackling the fee-fatigue everyone has grown weary of with traditional delivery services and removing all of those for a better experience."