During the coronavirus pandemic, a Detroit area wholesale food retailer who used to supply to local restaurants and casinos shifted his model to directly market grocery and household goods to the public. Atlas Wholesale Food Company is now extending its Marketplace Direct service which enables residents of southeast Michigan to shop online for foods, meat, cheese and items such as toilet paper for delivery or pickup.
Atlas launched its online shopping portal in mid-March in reaction to Michigan’s executive stay-at-home order, which prompted the closing of many local food retailers and placed more pressure on grocery stores. At the same time, the demand for companies providing groceries for curbside pickup and distribution has been growing. It’s a model in which many wholesalers around the country are seeing traction, while businesses have faced staffing-related difficulties in some situations.
Atlas is evolving
Atlas is one of the first to test the direct to consumer model in the Detroit area, while other distributors like La Grasso Bros. Produce has moved to distributing bags of produce to restaurants. Through switching to the online buying system, Atlas has prevented significant cuts at the company according to a statement.
Atlas is also offering more food from local sellers as part of the changes to the online shopping site. Including Dearborn Meat Company, Detroit Sausage Co., and Becharas Brothers Coffee. The company has since expanded in Clinton Township, Detroit, Fraser, Northville, Royal Oak, St. Clair Shores, Troy, Wixom and Ypsilanti to nine delivery sites. Customers will also apply to become a support point for their neighborhood with a so-called “Neighborhood Hero” scheme.
Customers can also find products such as dry active yeast, all-purpose feed, and cleaning supplies via the website. In addition to products such as produce and meat boxes. To apply for shipping, consumers must pay at least $100 for pickup and $450 for each order.
“My grandfather began this company in Greektown 70 years ago to supply the restaurants in the area”. CEO John Kohl says in a statement. We will consider these clients’ families and aim to devote a portion of additional sales. To help the restaurants and service staff directly impacted by COVID-19.”