Jake Mundy and Max Rist are on a mission. With their new company, Stork Distributions, the teens are working hard to slow the spread of COVID-19 by delivering and sanitizing groceries and home improvement products to those living anywhere in the Baltimore metropolitan area.
“We want to help our families, friends and community, learn as much as we can about running a business, and save money for college expenses,” says Rist. “But our main goal is to slow the spread because we would rather be able to go back to school in the fall than not.”
Close friends since ninth grade, Mundy and Rist, both 2019 graduates of Calvert Hall College High School, teamed up in March to create Stork Distributions.
That’s when Rist, 19, a freshman at the University of Colorado Boulder, was forced to come home as a result of the pandemic. Mundy, who was taking a gap year, was working in Baltimore.
“We are delivering to a variety of demographics,” says Mundy, who’s also 19. “Many of our customers are over the age of 60, since they are the highest risk. But we are also providing services to many under that age who are worried about their families’ health.
“One of our first customers was a woman in her last weeks of pregnancy,” he says. “She recently had the baby, and we delivered again to her. It’s a rewarding experience to see how we are making an impact in people’s lives.”
Stork Distributions made its first delivery on Mar. 30, and has since provided more than 200 deliveries. While other grocery delivery services exist, Stork Distribution’s model is unique.
To order, customers create lists at stork-distributions.com for next-day delivery. The company charges a minimum service fee of $20 for orders under $100 and a minimum 21 percent tip for orders over $100, with no other hidden fees.
There is no upfront cost, the company pays for the groceries, and Stork is reimbursed by the customer after the goods are delivered. In addition, Stork can make multiple stops during a single trip to any store, including ones with no other delivery options, such as Trader Joe’s.
And they sanitize every item.
“We use a spray with 99.9 percent alcohol content and rags to wipe down the groceries and the bags,” Rist says. “We do all the cleaning in the customer’s driveway so they can see what we are doing. We like to show everything is clean so our customers will feel secure when putting the goods in their homes and refrigerators.”
Customer service is a top priority for Rist and Mundy, which is evident in the way they conduct business.
“It’s one thing to do a job, it’s another to do the job right,” says Rist. “We strive for complete transparency and want our customers to know what we are doing in the store. We require all our contractors to call the customer at least once while in the store. What’s most important to us is safety, being polite and being respectful.”
Because of Stork’s growing popularity, Mundy and Rist have since hired five contractors who assist with the deliveries. They are all fellow Calvert Hall alumni or siblings of those graduates.
“We require our contractors to spend two days training with us prior to going out for deliveries to ensure they are properly sanitizing and wearing their gear correctly,” Rist says of the company’s safety measures. “We wear masks that cover our noses and the sides of our faces and gloves, which we swap out every time we leave a store. We put on new gloves to wipe down groceries, as well as wipes with high alcohol fluid to wipe down the trunks of our cars, credit card swiper and computers.”
Rist and Mundy grew up watching their parents place others’ needs first. Their moms are both health care professionals, Mundy’s father is an essential employee, and Rist’s stepfather served as a colonel in the U.S. Air Force.
But it’s from his father that Rist says he got his entrepreneurial spirit. “I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration from what my father has achieved,” says Rist, who is majoring in business. “If we can slow the spread of COVID-19 by a little and prevent even just one person from going out and catching this virus, it’s been worth it.”
Mundy, who also hopes to major in business, studied art in high school and drew the company’s logo. He echoes Rist’s sentiments about slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
“We thought out of everything we could be doing during this time, we should be helping others to get through this,” he says. “We aren’t just doing this for ourselves but for our whole community to get back on track.”
For information or to place an order, click here.