Trellus is an exciting new concept that is destined to be a significant boon to Long Island businesses; a startup launched earlier this year, they provide same-day delivery services for local merchants – often in two hours or less – utilizing an extremely affordable, rideshare-like service model that is as unique as it is effective.
Trellus CEO, co-founder and partner Adam Haber had previously been employed as the head of Economic Development for the Town of Hempstead In 2019. While there, he was introduced to Brian Berkery – now Trellus COO, co-founder and partner – and soon the two realized that they were extraordinarily like-minded in their ideas when it comes to supporting local businesses.
“I had this idea for a long time…I came up with this idea when I took my son to college in 2016, and I noticed how sterile North Carolina was, with a lot of big chain stores, a lot of fast food franchises,” Adam said. “There was none of the Long Island small business feel, where you know your community and the store you go to knows your name, what food or clothes you like, and I vowed never to live in a community like that.”
One day, Adam took Brian out to lunch and shared his idea for what would one day become Trellus.
“We started jawboning about this idea that I had, and Brian thought it was an amazing idea,” Adam said. “And Brian, being the entrepreneur he is, said ‘Let’s do this.’”
The first thing Brian and Adam did was bring on 3rd partner, JR Jensen, who has extensive experience as a creative director, building web platforms and working with small businesses and outdoor recreation organizations. The founding team was now ready, launching the company in early 2021.
And thus, Trellus was born; an on-demand, same-day delivery service and marketplace based out of Long Beach, NY, that helps small and home-based businesses compete against Amazon and e-commerce, Adam said.
“Amazon is destroying the fabric of small town business on Long Island,” he said. ”They have nine warehouses with over a million square feet here, and the only reason some people will shop local is if there’s some added value involved, and the value we add is that we offer same-day delivery in most cases two hours or less. So we get the products and services that they want quicker than Amazon can.”
Adam noted that Trellus functions essentially as a delivery and marketplace company combined in one that exclusively serves local, small businesses on Long Island with a fleet of Uber-style drivers on-call.
“Merchants take the order, or the customer goes into the website and places the order, the business purchases a shipping label and that automatically summons our gig driver, and the closest one picks it up and drops it off. So we don’t have warehouses or inventory, we basically deal directly with the small businesses and coordinate with them.”
Adam emphasized the affordability aspect of Trellus for Long Island merchants, saying that the company’s business model makes it far cheaper than keeping a dedicated delivery person on the payroll.
“The big thing that sets us apart is that we don’t take a percentage of your sale. We’re not like DoorDash or Uber eats or 1-800 Flowers, which can take anywhere from between 15 to 50 percent of your sale,” Adam said. “We have monthly subscription rates as low as $9.99 per month, and at the time of the sale the merchant purchases a shipping label from us. That’s the extent of our revenue from the service, and it’s exceptionally less than any of our competition.”
To further their commitment to helping small Long Island businesses, in 2022 Trellus is opening up a marketplace on their website that will help merchants offer their wares online, JR said.
“Right now on our website we have a marketplace where you can search for local businesses based on location and sort it by any way you want. In some cases you’re able to click on those merchants and purchase directly through their websites. For others you are prompted to call them directly,” he said. “But what we’re doing is creating a marketplace where you will be able to click on and purchase directly from our Trellus local marketplace website and app. We’ve completely streamlined the process, similar to Amazon.com, but servicing and driving traffic to only small and homebased Long Island businesses” Said JR.
Brian noted that Trellus is not only better for merchants, but also better for delivery drivers as well, especially when compared to competing services.
“We’re the best service out there for drivers, not only when it comes to getting paid, but also when it comes to communication with the drivers,” he said. “If any driver ever has an issue, we communicate with them right away, and the drivers are really appreciating this. They’re coming from Uber and Amazon and saying, ‘Wow! What a totally different experience it is driving for you guys.’”
“We’re into Nassau, Suffolk and Queens, and we’re expanding all the time as we get more drivers into our service,” Adam added. “We’re moving a lot more, a lot further and a lot faster than I ever could have imagined.”
At the moment, Trellus has over 100 Long Island-based merchants in their network, and that number is growing all the time. And if things continue at their current pace, the duo sees the service eventually taking on a national, franchised-based presence that is sure to compete with the big names in the business, but with its focus remaining exclusively on small businesses.
“When we say local, we mean local as it pertains to where you are,” Adam said. “And the reason we started on Long Island is because if we can succeed here with the population and traffic conditions being what they are, we figure that we can apply this business model anywhere in the United States.”
Based on the feedback they’re getting so far, Trellus has been a massive hit with all of the merchants that they’ve been working with, Brian said.
“I would say 95 percent of the merchants that we work with are telling us that this is an asset, that this is what they’ve needed,” he said. “We’ve clearly hit a cord, and we know that there is a tremendous need for the services that we’re offering. And I believe that we’re building it the right way.”
“I think I could speak for all three of us when we say that we love Long Island, and we want to see it thrive and how great is it that we have a business where we can serve customers, create jobs, and help our community?” Adam added. “For us, it’s a rewarding way to make a living and we’re looking forward to seeing where this goes in the future.”
To find out more about Trellus, please visit https://bytrellus.com or call 833-562-2554.