Travelers checking into Hawaii condos, vacation homes, timeshare accommodations or a hotel with a kitchen that could potentially be stocked before arrival might consider perusing IslandGroceryService.com, one of the Aloha State’s grocery providers.
In business now for five years, the company landed its first big Hawaii hotel contract in January 2010 when partner Mike Eberle negotiated a deal with Aston Hotels & Resorts.
“We know that guests don’t always want to take the time to go off and pick up groceries and wanted a service that would allow them to order their favorite products ahead of time online,” said Shari Chang, senior vice president of sales, marketing, and revenue management.
“It’s been extremely popular with our condominium clients on all islands," Chang said.
"People really like having things already there when they check in, so their favorite snacks are just waiting for them.”
Island Grocery Service has since arranged deals with prominent Hawaii hoteliers like Castle Hotels & Resorts, Aqua Hotels & Resorts, the Ohana brand of Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Grand Vacations and the Aulani, the Disney resort on the west side of Oahu.
Most of those properties feature links to the Island Grocery website.
“You just point and click on the products,” Eberle said. “And then we give you a running total like the cash register at a grocery store.”
And while the website outlines a long list of participating properties, Eberle said clients can arrange delivery to any hotel in Hawaii, occasionally through affiliates on Maui or the Big Island, by inquiring via email ahead of time.
A minimum order amount of $75 is required, and products are shopped for on the same day they are delivered to ensure freshness. There’s a minimum delivery fee of $25, no matter the size, but certain properties or accommodations include additional charges.
According to Chang, many travel agents she speaks with are already big fans of the service and frequently recommend it to clients staying at Aston’s condo resorts, but Eberle currently works with some agents directly, arranging not only grocery deliveries for clients but also specialty items for unique occasions.
“Basically, you ask and we respond,” he said, noting that the company requires at least 24 hours to process and shop for requests. “We’ve done flowers, fruit baskets, cakes, champagne, even birthday balloons.”
Marrianne Casey, who works for Montreal-based Luxury Retreats, said Eberle has come through at the last minute on a variety of occasions for her company’s high-end customers.
“Mike is fabulous, and he’s gone above and beyond several times for clients of ours who have very special requests with very particular items,” she said. “So we know that what’s asked for will be there and it will be perfect.”