The Port Supply Co. – Martha’s Vineyard

Jen’s Interview with Josh Mangerson, one of the founders of the Port Supply Co. This new company is a contactless marketplace that allows business owners to upload all of their inventory and consumers can log into the app and order food or make purchases, while selecting a specific pick up time or delivery.

Martha's Vineyard Community Spotlight - The Port Supply Co
  • Hey everyone, thank you for joining us today on this lovely day. Hopefully, you’re getting outside and doing something fun. Before I introduce my guest to you, I just wanna let you know that if you’ve ever wanted to promote your business or organization or you know, just let people know what you’re offering right now, please reach out to me and we can set something up and I am Jen O’Hanlon with Wallace & Company Sotheby’s International Reality and today I am talking with Josh Mangerson and he has started with a few other people on the island here The Port Supply Company. So he’s gonna tell us a little bit, Josh, welcome.
  • Thanks, thanks for having me, thanks for your interest.
  • Yeah. About yourself as well.
  • I’m sorry that froze for a second–
  • Oh, if you can just tell everyone a little bit about yourself, a little background and how you came to start the company and tell a little bit about it.
  • Sure, so I am a seasonal resident technically but it looks more and more like, we’re probably island residents for the foreseeable future. We, my wife, Sarah and I and our kids live in Brooklyn. And we came up here for spring break and then of course everything unfolded the way it unfolded and we’re here so. The way that this came about was we were working, talking with another friends Patrick and Ted Courtney I’ve been in front of them since we were kids. And we were just thinking about the repercussions of how the Vineyard economy is going to be affected by a lockdown, how it’s going to affect tourism which is obviously a big driver of the economy and how businesses on the Vineyard are gonna deal with that. And they were specifically looking for solutions for their restaurants, The Covington, The Port Hunter out of your town. And as we kind of went through different scenarios, we started looking at the third party delivery apps and the different solutions that are out there, third party, it’s a foster that contact us or delivery user experience. And they’re all very expensive. And so Sarah and I took it a step further and we said well we wanna get involved with the island community. And we wanna try to help these businesses so that the economy can go forward and so just over the course of a couple of weeks and talking with Pat and Ted and Sarah and I, we decided that we can actually build a platform, a digital marketplace for island businesses and we can make it free to island businesses, right? And that’s our way to help support the economy and those guys set up their restaurants on it. It’s going really well for them.
  • Okay, nice.
  • Now we’re here, we’re looking at taking the next step to who else we would like to participate.
  • Okay, so for, you know, the customers pretty straightforward I guess, they can just simply download the app from the App Store, is that correct?
  • Correct, correct, it’s in Apple, App Store and then Google Play for Android. Download the white one, that’s for customers. You set up a normal customer account like you would with any other app into your credit card and then you’re free to buy it from whichever shop you’d like to buy from and follow the directions on how to pick it up.
  • Okay, I posted that we were gonna do this interview and a friend of mine said that she were from The Covington and it was to seamless very easy and great so, there is one review right there.
  • Well, I mean, the Covington’s food is amazing. So when you can get a hands on it easily, it makes it even better.
  • Yep, and so for the businesses and it’s just not restaurants, correct?
  • Correct.
  • For the businesses, they somehow create this platform and app and all their food items and how does that all work?
  • So basically what happens is the businesses, and email us at info@theportsupply.com. We’ll send you back, in the email you should tell us who you are and what your business is. We’ll let you know back a link to the merchant dashboard where you can go about building your store. We’ll also give you a user guide so that you know what you need to do. And we’ll be here to help to help if you need help. But it’s pretty user-friendly, it’s intuitive. And you can build your store up like you’ll see if you go to the side. You can build your store up. You can add items that you want, products that you wanna add and then after you’ve done that I’ll verify that you’re good and we’ll put you up and I’ll show you how to open your shop.
  • Okay and then on the user side, you and I talked a little bit yesterday and you explained to me the benefits of it is one of the things is that it maybe limits the number of people picking up or can you explain some of that?
  • Yeah so one of the main focus is that we’re looking as well was, you know, we’re on the island and there can be a lot of people here and we’ve all experienced that time in the summer when we wanna go to our favorite place, we have to wait in line and you know, do we wanna be in a small space waiting for our products that we purchased or in a line for a lot of other people. I think most of us would say no and we would probably just forgo entering that crowded space so the way we’ve set this up is that, from a customer standpoint, you’ll go on and you’ll choose and available pick-up time and what the merchants have done is, they’ve created the maximum number of individuals that they can serve in that pick-up time. It’s gonna vary merchant to merchant but the point is that there’s gonna be a finite number of people in that 15 minute or 30 minute window that can be there and we think that that will just help with organization and that will help with giving you a confidence to say okay, I can go pick this up, no I’m not gonna be waiting in a huge crowd, you know and exposing myself to possible sickness.
  • Great and then of course, the other benefit’s just the ease of use. I mean for me to have one app or I can just pick where I wanna order from and I accustom to that same way of paying and all that and of course you have to hand your credit card or cash to anybody so all of that convenience is–
  • Exactly, exactly, I wouldn’t tell you though that if you are gonna buy different multiple merchants on the site, each one of those is a separate transaction. We can’t put everything in cards from all over the place in one transaction. So you are gonna, you know, just like if you were going to the store. You’d go to each store, same thing.
  • Right, okay, great but the same app.
  • But the same app.
  • Good and somebody does have to pay something, right? So tell me about that. I know you said there’s no charge for the businesses.
  • Correct, you know, when you tried to, you’re just creating a balloon right? So somehow to make it free for the merchants, there has to be a cost somewhere else to run the platform and pay for the credit card processing fees. So what we’re asking you as the customer is to support island businesses this way. So you will pay a 3.5% credit card processing fee on your check and you’ll pay a 3% service fee to the platform that helps run all this but in turn, we’re also gonna say of that three and half, sorry of that 3% service fee, we’re gonna make a donation back to the island from
  • Oh great, wonderful. And I think that’s to be expected. I mean even not during these crazy times where you know, if you want the convenience of something, you do end up having to pay for that. I think everybody wants to support the restaurants and happy that they’re not gonna be the ones incurring that because they’ve already been hit so hard through all of this so.
  • Yeah absolutely, not just the restaurants either but you know, any merchant that you know, maybe you didn’t take a credit card before because you didn’t wanna pay the processing fee. And now you’re in a scenario where you may still wanna have that ease of contact list interaction with the customer. So what we’re saying is great, you still don’t have to pay the credit card processing fee.
  • Nice, that’s great. Okay, let’s see so we’ve already talked about how to download app. I wanna ask about deliveries. Is that something happening in the future maybe?
  • So the deliveries are in our roadmap. And you know we thought about launching this whole concept straight out of the gate with deliveries but there was questions from the Governor and the Board of Health and who can deliver what and when and so we kind of waiting for more instruction from government on what will happen with the delivery. You know more than that we need the merchants prepare for it because this model is not an outsource third party delivery. If a merchant wants to deliver, they’re gonna need to deliver using an employee of their business, right? It’s an opportunity to create a job for somebody and charge for the delivery so revenue. But it’s also should give customers the confidence in that, if I know that I am ordering delivery from the Covington then I know that the Covington, I have enough confidence to order from them in the first place because I think that there’s, you know, following good safety protocols against Covid-19 than their delivery driver’s gonna be the extension of those protocols follow it through the end. And delivery on the app is pretty technical as well. So we’ve gotta roll out how all those pieces put together.
  • Okay, so for now we have curb side pick-up and I think that those are all the questions I had for you. Is there anything we’ve missed that you wanna add?
  • No I think like any new technology and any change in business, this is gonna come with bumps for everyone. So far it’s been pretty good. We’ve worked out our small little things here and there and I think that there’ll probably be more so. If you have an issue, please just let us know. We’re here to support you. You an email us at help@theportsupply.com, info@theportsupply.com and we’ll get back to you right away and make sure that whatever the issue was, it’s corrected and is taken care of.
  • Right, and I’ve been asking everybody that’s been on with me if you have a message of hope that you’d like to share with the community.
  • I guess I would just say, you know, what you’re doing with this blog is somewhat to what we’re trying to do with The Port Supply. We’re bringing people together and we’re trying to all get through this together and work together on it and I think you know, not just what we’re doing but I’ve seen around the whole island since I’ve been here, it’s just people supporting other people and I think everybody here should be really proud of that. We’ve done a good job. And if we continue doing good job, we’re all gonna be okay.
  • Great, I agree that’s great. Okay, well Josh thank you so much for being on and thank you every one who’s watching.
  • Thanks for having me.
  • You’re welcome and have a great day.
  • You too, take care.
  • Okay, bye.
  • Bye.
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