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June 9, 2020

Friendly Grocer, Crestmead: the local store, just around the corner

  • , Australia
  • , Drone delivery

An incredibly familiar and welcoming atmosphere greets you as you enter Logan’s Friendly Grocer Crestmead. The feeling emanates from owners and brothers Maz Rizk and Baz Rizk, who have served the community for 20 years, and have made it their passion to always be there for their customers. “The only day of the year that the store is closed is Christmas day” shares Maz.

In their two decades of service to the community, Maz and Baz have become well versed in adapting to changes and overcoming challenges. As many in the Queensland community have begun to stay at home more often to limit the spread of COVID-19, the Rizks’ customers have been relying on them more than ever to help meet their families’ needs.

Despite the overnight changes to the in-store experience at Friendly Grocer Crestmead, customers have been very understanding. “We had to keep up with the new requirements — limiting the amount of people in the store, hand sanitising, and regular hand washing. We put in barricades to show where customers can stand. No one has complained; everyone has been really understanding,” Maz says.

The team has always taken pride in going above and beyond for their customers and are determined to ensure a pandemic isn’t going to change that. When asked if they considered introducing purchasing limits on customers as seen across major grocery stores across Australia, Maz says that their policy was simple: “No limits — grab whatever you need”.

The situation has encouraged the team to work hard to ensure supplies were always readily available and to seek alternative distributors if faced with stock shortages. When toilet paper shortages hit shops across the country, Maz acted quickly to increase his stock of toilet paper products including single roll packaging, knowing that it would help tide-over more customers ordering one roll at a time through Wing’s drone delivery service.

“I couldn’t get toilet paper — so I looked for other ways and started buying it through a new local supplier. I bought a box to make sure we could continue keeping all the orders fulfilled”.

The team’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by their community. Maz shares how moved he was by a longtime customer of over 24 years who recently posted a message on the Friendly Grocer Crestmead Facebook page, saying “I’ve been in isolation for 5 weeks and I’ve only been to your store and you have everything I need”.

For customers that aren’t able to regularly get to the store, Maz notes he’s constantly asked how they can access Wing delivery. While Wing’s delivery service is currently only available in the suburbs of Crestmead and Marsden, Maz believes that more people will continue to embrace the delivery technology, as the current challenges have put a spotlight on the convenience offered by the service. “It’s a viable way of getting something they need quickly,” he says. “Let’s say you have a BBQ and you’re out of tomato or BBQ sauce. Customers can just open the Wing app, order from us and they’ll have it in no-time, they just find it amazing.”

As a drone pilot and enthusiast himself, Maz signed up Friendly Grocer Crestmead as one of the first Logan businesses delivering through Wing in mid 2019. Even after attending a number of Wing community demonstrations, and sharing his personal experience with customers, he still finds himself astounded by the uptake of the delivery service from the community. “ I did not envisage it would be this popular. Especially with the national stay-at-home [requirements]…order your favourite hot chicken or Cadbury chocolate, anything involving deliveries has gone crazy”.

Maz and Baz’s commitment to serving customers, whether in-person or through drone delivery, inspires their entire team. The Rizks’ warmth and community spirit, and the friendly smiles they wear every day, continue to make them so much more than just a store around the corner.

For more follow Friendly Grocer Crestmead on Facebook.