Relay Pro John Robinson and Relay Foods

Door to Door Organics replaces Relay Foods in Mid-Atlantic

Relay Foods, an online-only grocery delivery service operating in a handful of Mid-Atlantic markets, is retiring its name and adopting the go-to-market strategy of its new parent company, Door to Door Organics.

Charlottesville, Va.-based Relay, which merged with Louisville, Colo.-based Door to Door Organics last summer, also said it will exit the North Carolina and Lynchburg, Va., markets effective Jan. 15. It will also end its delivery to “pickup spots” and will instead focus solely on direct home delivery.

Cambria Jacobs, VP of marketing for Door to Door Organics, told SN that the North Carolina and Lynchburg markets were too far from the company’s warehouse facility in Montgomeryville, Pa. The company will shutter its two warehouses in Richmond, Va., and Charlottesville, according to local reports.

Beginning Jan. 13, current Relay Foods customers and other consumers in the Washington, D.C.; Baltimore; Richmond, Va.; and Charlottesville markets will have the opportunity to order through Door to Door Organics.

Jacobs said the company has not yet decided on a new name for the combined operations of Relay and Door to Door.

“The Door to Door Organics name has not officially been selected yet,” she said. “We are still in the process of considering the possibility of launching a new brand that will reflect both businesses and will update our customers and the media as soon as we have any definite news to share.”

Jacobs said the changes in the Mid-Atlantic would assist Door to Door Organics in its efforts to improve its offering.

“A single brand will allow us to improve the customer experience across all markets that we serve,” she said.

Door to Door Organics was founded in 1997 and provides grocery delivery to markets primarily in the West and Midwest. Customers go online to select a box of organic produce — all-fruit, all vegetable, or a mix — in one of four sizes, then add from a selection of grocery items to complete their order. The “Good Food Shop” grocery selection features natural and locally sourced products, according to the company’s website, and includes dry grocery products, baked goods, dairy, frozens, meats and seafood, and nonfood items.

Relay Foods operated a model in which customers ordered online and had the option of picking up their order at no charge from one of Relay’s trucks, which were parked at various places around the markets it serves. Or, Relay offered home delivery at a cost — most recently $19 per month. Door to Door Organics offers free delivery for orders of $75 or more, and charges $5 for orders under $75.

Both Relay Foods and Door to Door Organics have positioned themselves as purveyors of healthy, locally sourced and carefully curated product, and both operate dynamic websites.

Internet Retailer estimated Door to Door’s sales volume at $43 million in 2015, up 26.5% over 2014 levels. The companies said at the time of their merger announcement last June that they would serve 63 markets in 18 states.

Bill Bishop, chief architect at consulting firm Brick Meets Click, described Door to Door Organics as “a very impressive company,” citing its strong, well-differentiated brand and its “broad-based geographic footprint, which gives them scale.”

He also described Door to Door CEO Chad Arnold, who joined the company in 2009, as “an excellent leader.”

“They have a management team that blends retail skills with online skills — something that isn’t that common,” Bishop said.

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