St Lucian entrepreneur steps up fight against COVID-19 with new delivery service

One St Lucian entrepreneur is not letting the latest coronavirus, COVID-19, stop his hustle.

29-year-old Darrion Louis over the weekend launched a new delivery service as part of his already existing food export business.

BUZZ caught up with Louis on Monday(March 30) who shared that the idea which came to him on Friday has already began creating a buzz on the island.

Louis, who is the owner and operator of Shop D’ Caribbean, explained that his business, which primarily focuses on exporting local crops, has been taking a hit due to the coronavirus.

He noted that since the first confirmed case of the virus on the island, he has been forced to make adjustments .

One of the adjustments is the temporary closure of the business.

“Due to the COVID-19 virus. We have followed the protocol of our Caribbean islands and decided to abide by the suspension of our services, until more information as to trade and commerce is updated,” Louis wrote on his website.

However, just as things began to take a toll for the worst, Louis said the idea came to him to launch an island-wide delivery service, for those needing groceries.

Louis said the idea was born out of seeing the long lines outside of the grocery stores across the island and the constant announcements to follow social distancing protocols.

“The idea came about in the wake of the new restrictions, aimed at fighting the virus,” Louis told BUZZ.

“I thought about it on Friday and built out a new web platform on Sunday. I started delivering today,” added Louis.

Louis who holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from the St George’s University in Grenada, said that the purpose of the business was not necessarily to generate a profit but to help.

However, given the strong demand, which he has been getting for the service, he is considering making it a permanent part of his operations post coronavirus.

Darrion Louis centre and his staff of two

Louis told BUZZ that the newly minted business has been getting so much traction that he is already in talks with distributors such as, Renwick, Peter and Company and Trans Caribbean.

The new business venture has also caught the attention of Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, who praised Louis for his efforts on his Facebook page on Monday.

“Great to see our local entrepreneurs rising to the occasion by conceiving innovative services and solutions to maintain economic activity whilst reinforcing social distancing amidst the battle against COVID-19. I wish Darrion and his team great success with this venture,” said the PM on Facebook.

So far, Louis and his team, which include, 22-year-old Francis Mitchell and 24-year-old Nick Nicholas, have already made seven deliveries; with more deliveries scheduled for Wednesday and Friday.

Shop D Caribbean (St Lucia) delivers groceries for a small fee of $10 EC for customers island-wide; they accept electronic payments as well as cash on delivery.