The idea came to Heather Ostrow last summer when she was juggling an infant, a 2-year-old, two teenagers plus the dogs. “I wanted a Starbucks and I couldn’t go out,” recalled the Roslyn mom.
Pizza, Chinese, she was able to order in. “Why isn’t coffee delivery a thing?” she wondered. “Coffee delivery should be a thing.”
So she made it a thing. In January, Coffee Angel Delivery started delivering coffee to homes, offices and LIRR stations in Roslyn and Manhasset from 6:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day of the week. Customers sign up online, at coffeeangeldelivery.com, and then have the option of texting their orders the night before or registering for regular delivery.
The price is the cost of the drink plus $1.99 for as many as two beverages, 99 cents for any additional beverage. Subscribers pay $39.99 per month (plus the cost of drinks).
From Monday to Thursday, Amy Savastano of Roslyn takes the 6:58 LIRR train into the city. Before she boards, a Coffee Angel hands her a bag containing a Starbucks venti extra hot nonfat chai latte. “I only give myself enough time to get up and get to the train,” said the new mother. “And the Starbucks across the street from my office has a line a half an hour long. Coffee Angel has saved my life.”
Savastano conceded that her chai latte costs about $9 (the drink is $4.83 plus $1.99 delivery plus the $2 tip she gives the deliverer) but she is unapologetic. “I have a six-month-old and I need that Starbucks when I get on the train. It’s worth every penny.”
On Monday, Savastano’s coffee was delivered by Ethan Moore, 22, a recent graduate of LIU. He’d picked up her coffee at the Starbucks on Willis Avenue in Roslyn Heights, and from the LIRR station he headed to the Starbucks in Wheatley Plaza to pick up the next order which was being delivered to a home just south of Northern Boulevard in Roslyn.
For the length of his shift, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., Moore keeps in touch with Ostrow via text and Crew, a team collaboration app. From her home office, Ostrow consolidates orders, groups them by area and sends them directly to Starbucks (or to the handful of other shops she uses, including Dunkin’ Donuts). When Moore arrives at Starbucks, his order is ready. He places the cups in an insulated case with compartments to keep them upright and, when he reaches his destination, he transfers them to cardboard holders that fit right into the paper bag that bears the Coffee Angel logo (a coffee cup with a halo). Once he has placed the bag on the customer’s doorstep, he texts Ostrow. She then texts the customer: Your coffee has arrived.
Right now Ostrow has about 25 daily subscribers and 200 occasional customers. Her staff consists of three full-time and three part-time deliverers.
Within a few days, Coffee Angel will be launching an app to allow one-click ordering. She’s hiring more delivery people and managers so that Coffee Angel can expand into more of Nassau’s North Shore.
She prefers to think of Coffee Angel not as space-age luxury, but as a return to tradition. “I want to bring back the milkman days,” she said, “but with cappuccinos.”