Ben Wilson of Community Couriers pedals all day long to deliver groceries and other necessities to residents of Jacksonville’s urban core. Ben pedals a bike with an attached wooden box on the back. He picks up whatever the customer needs and delivers it to their home or office. His delivery region is Riverside, Avondale, Murray Hill, Springfield, San Marco and Downtown. If you didn’t think there was a need for this type of delivery service, think again. The business makes up to ten deliveries a day, including business-to-business service and home drop-offs.
Wilson says, “We at Community Couriers noticed that many families had little time to prepare healthy meals because of busy schedules. Because getting in and out of the grocery store can be hectic and time-consuming, this service can eliminate stress and free up time for many.” (If you’ve looked for a parking space at the Riverside Publix at 5:30 with a kid in tow, don’t you wish you had known about this service?) River City natives Ben and his wife, Kelly, have forged relationships with certain businesses like The Veggie Bin in Riverside and Community Loaves in an effort to get good, healthful foods to the masses at a low cost. They reached out to many like-minded individuals, including Jon Jessup at Meteor Street Produce who sells organic produce at the Jacksonville Farmers Market, and discovered a culture of healthy, non-traditional options for those who want to support local businesses. They see the biking aspect as another way to love our city as well. “Using a bicycle helps to ease parking in many places. If regular close-by customers can use bicycle delivery for their needs, it could keep parking spaces free for those coming from other parts of town,” Wilson says. “Also, using a bicycle is a sustainable energy source and helps reduce pollution and wear and tear on the streets of our city’s oldest neighborhoods.”
I ask Ben if he has met any celebrities during his rides through the area – you know, those Jacksonvillians ordering caviar and Dom Perignon – and his answer wasn’t a complete surprise. “The list of fantastic people we have met because of Community Couriers is lengthy. Jim Alabiso of JumpingFish was our very first customer. I was impressed with his project to increase awareness of our waterways through athletics,” Wilson tells me. “Also, I have met other movers and shakers, like Tony Allegretti and Wayne Wood.” Interestingly enough, the Wilsons are becoming a celebrity power couple around The Core themselves. Seeing Ben ride his bike with some locally made pizzas from Carmine’s stacked on the back is a common occurrence these days. He and Kelly and their bikes are transforming their small business into a ubiquitous part of the Downtown culture.
I hope for some colorful answers when I inquired about the strangest delivery request yet, but my curiosity was deflated: “I haven’t really had any particularly strange requests,” he responds. “No one has asked me to deliver body parts or nuclear waste, but this weekend I will deliver a bike on my bike.” And you never know what the future will bring.
To place a delivery of business documents, pizza, veggies, that jacket you left behind, Dom Perignon, or even a bike, you can contact Ben and Kelly Wilson of Community Couriers at www.communitycouriersjax.com or (904) 327-6810.
Article written ￼￼by Abigail Wright