Recent Rider grad starts delivery business for COVID-19 essentials
Matthew Hernberg '20 just wanted to help his grandma. Now, he's helping hundreds of local South Jersey residents secure convenience items and groceries.
As the coronavirus pandemic began to take hold in early March, Hernberg received a tearful call from his grandmother who was unable to find face masks or hand sanitizer. As a member of a high-risk category, she was worried about her safety. Hernberg luckily found the supplies for her, but a few days later, she called again saying her elderly friends similarly could not find the much-needed items.
Hernberg connected with a distributor to purchase hand sanitizer, masks and other convenience items such as soap, toothpaste and deodorant. After making a handful of deliveries, he realized he could make a larger impact in his community.
"Each time I did a delivery, I was able to see the biggest smile on their faces," he says. "I was happy to be able to help the community in any way possible."
The business began to grow from word-of-mouth recommendations, but Hernberg formalized his operations by starting an Instagram page called DeliverMeSouthJersey. Customers can message the Instagram page to discuss their orders and they are usually delivered within a few hours. That and a feature on local Philadelphia affiliate FOX29 is how the business really started to take off, Hernberg says.
In just a few weeks' time, he has made more than 100 deliveries and hired 10 drivers to help meet the demand. All of his drivers are also new college graduates like Hernberg and practice safety measures such as wearing masks and gloves and practicing social distancing. A marketing major at Rider, he recently began a job as a loan adviser for Freedom Mortgage, but continues to make deliveries during lunch and after work.
"The goal has always stayed the same; it has always been to help the community first and put our customers before the business," he says. "We operate on small margins, but the smiles from our customers are the best payment I could ever receive."
Hernberg's team has recently expanded its service line to include groceries to further assist customers.
"With Instacart having crazy wait times and fees, we want to be able to provide the community with a grocery delivery service that can save them time and money, as well as keep them safe," he says. "We have just started to gradually take orders and the feedback has been great since starting."
Reflecting on the quick growth of his organization, Hernberg credits the faculty at Rider's Norm Brodsky College of Business for preparing him to create his own business.
"Every success of this business I owe to the amazing teaching staff at Rider University," he says. "They taught me about the values of having good morals combined with hard work. Whether it was Dr. Barry Ashmen teaching me the art of sales and how each customer should be treated with the highest respect, or Dr. Larry Newman teaching me how to market a product efficiently in a competitive marketing environment — these are just a few amazing professors I had."