click to enlarge The state and city gave grants to Relay Foods to help with its expansion in 2014.

Scott Elmquist

The state and city gave grants to Relay Foods to help with its expansion in 2014.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Relay Foods Merger to Cost Jobs in Virginia

Relay Foods is now Door to Door Organics

Posted By on Fri, Jan 6, 2017 at 1:28 PM

Last summer, Relay Foods announced that it was merging with a similar company based in Colorado, Door to Door Organics, that operates in 80 cities in 15 states. The two companies should bring in around $50 million annually, the Denver Post reports. And with the merger, “the combined company also announced that it landed $10 million in equity financing provided by the Arlon Group and Relay stockholders.”

This week brought news that the new venture would operate under Door to Door Organics’ name. And now, Richmond BizSense reports that Relay’s warehouses in Richmond and Charlottesville will close, costing “an unspecified number [of jobs] in Richmond and 48 in Charlottesville.” Door to Door says there are 25 people in Virginia who work for the company.

Relay Foods, based out of Charlottesville, began its online grocery business in Richmond in 2010, with the city and state kicking in $100,000 in grants to open its Scott’s Addition warehouse in 2014.

Why the merger? Well, Door to Door Organics offers doorstep delivery service — $5 for orders under $75 and free for orders over that threshold — while Relay Foods’ model was to provide strategic pickup spots around the city. This capability and the combined companies’ new size give it a better chance fending off mega threat Amazon when it decides to go all-in with its grocery business.

As of publication, Door to Door’s website says it isn’t offering service in Richmond, although you can still order from Relay through Jan. 15. On Jan. 16, service in the area will begin under the new name at doortodoororganics.com.

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