The area’s largest taxi company has unveiled a delivery service connecting some of the area’s most popular businesses with their clients. Blueline Taxis has several operators serving all through the region and unveiled its latest Grab application and website this week.
“It’s a family-run, north-east version of Deliveroo or Uber Eats, but using our taxis and the brilliant regional food and drink sector. The app also caters for other products and suppliers – including skincare, pet food, protein bars and ‘little learner’ boxes. We’ve invested about £100,000 so far into the venture, but we believe Grab could become a multi-million-pound business,” said the Finance Director of the company of Tom Shanks.
He further stated that certainly due to the COVID-19 emergency are taking far fewer trips so taxis are being utilized. It has been a huge challenge to their business and they have had to adjust. They are a huge transport firm and ordinary times may finish more than 85,000 trips in a week, no person covers the region north of Blyth to Hartlepool as they do. Therefore, they considered if they can distribute products and also humans. They have the capacity to create several deliveries each day.
“Grab is our response, a way of getting the produce of our home-grown local food and drink produce, and other products, to customers who can’t leave their homes. It’s also going to be an important lifeline for thousands of isolated local people. We’ve already circulated £25,000 worth of vouchers among NHS and other vital COVID-19 workers as we thought it was the right thing to do. We’ve also distributed 500 custom-made gift boxes to hospitals and ambulance stations as our way of saying thank you to NHS workers. The chocolate went down particularly well with nurses!” he added.
Among the over 20 businesses that registered for the Grab application include:
- Regional brands such as Dicksons
- Marlish Water, snack firm Oatein
- The Vaulkhard Group
- Bowers Butchers
- Café 1901, J.R. Holland, Sambuca
- The Newcastle Gin Co
- Clearly Drinks in Sunderland
- Tyne Bank Brewery,
- Newcastle Skin Clinic
- My Pet HQ
Templeman Retail, and Vending and Hoults Yard-based Full Circle Brew Co and The Pip Stop.
“We’re adding new providers and suppliers daily, and we’re delighted with the range and quality of companies involved,” said Tom. He became part of the family business after finishing a degree in French, Spanish, and Portuguese at Newcastle University and after that masters degree in finance at Durham University.
Blueline was started in 1958 by Tom’s grandparents Audrey and Colin Shanks. Colin took part in World War Two and was seized thrice and flew twice before getting back to the UK.
He met Audrey and got married in London, operating tobacconists there prior to coming back to handle the store of the firm in Northumberland Street, Newcastle. They purchased an Austin Morris with a blue ‘coach’ line trim after some savings and joined the taxi sector.
Blueline’s latest adventure has collaborated with The Greggs Foundation, a humanitarian trust focusing to make a distinction to the disadvantaged people’s lives in their local society, as a section of its firm ethos of giving back.
The application is as well financed by Food and Drink North East (FADNE), the organization that advocates the area’s drink and food city.
The partnership will have FADNE Local Heroes food boxes, comprising of area suppliers and producers, accessible through the Grab app for very or following day dispatch.