When it’s difficult to get a reservation at Montauk’s popular Muse restaurant or a visitor doesn’t know where to start to book a fishing trip, Mark Ripolone says he’s going to be there to help.
His new delivery and concierge service, 123 Delivery, will transport just about anything from any restaurant, store or other business in Montauk to any place in the East End hamlet, or make arrangements for tours and other activities. And he’s got an endorsement from Kevin Harrington, one of the original Sharks from ABC’s hit show, “Shark Tank.”
While other entrepreneurs nervously appear before the panel of billionaire “Shark Tank” entrepreneurs to ask for money for their companies, Ripolone avoided questions and challenges on the show because he had a friend who knew Harrington.
Harrington was interested and agreed to appear in a 123 Delivery commercial as its pitchman even though he’s not an investor. The commercial can be seen on the 123delivery.net website and is set to air throughout Long Island on June 10, Ripolone said.
In the commercial, Harrington says: “I love visiting the Hamptons — especially Montauk — and one of the best conveniences is 123 Delivery. I can order food from all the restaurants in the area and have it delivered right to my door.”
Harrington could not be reached for an interview.
Ripolone, 28, who has been a resident of Montauk for 20 years and owns Ditch Plains Taxi, started 123 Delivery on April 15 with his father, Tony Ripolone, 67, and another co-owner, Marco Ascolillo, 40, of New Rochelle.
Ripolone said no order is too small and that 123 will take pickups from anywhere. Over the Memorial Day weekend they made “over 80 deliveries,” he said.
The fee for any delivery is $9.99 — “it can be a $500 order or a $20 order,” he said, adding that there is a growing list of partner restaurants that have agreed to be regulars with the service. Ripolone said about 10 dispatchers handle calls and that there are about 15 drivers. In order to offer the service, Ripolone first had to obtain a permit from the Suffolk County Department of Health Services to operate a hot and cold food delivery business.
People don’t want to spend their vacation or leisure time waiting in lines, going out when they don’t want to, or trying to figure out where to go, Ripolone said. “We want to be the concierge for the community and for everyone to leave here with a good impression.”
Gary Costello, a chef and server at Gringo’s Burrito Grill, called 123 Delivery an “excellent” idea. “There’s a lot of potential for growth,” he said. “Montauk is a big emerging market.”
Paul Monte, president of the Montauk Chamber of Commerce, acknowledged that the summer crowds can result in long lines. “I think the delivery service is a great amenity for Montauk,” Monte said.
123 Delivery has delivered fare from these businesses:
- Gringo’s Burrito Grill
- The Montauk Market
- John’s Drive-In
- Primavera Pizza
- Inlet Seafood Restaurant
- Harvest On Fort Pond
- East by Northeast
- Naturally Good Foods & Café
- Herb’s Market
- Bliss Kitchen