New service aims to deliver convenience

Crystal Aguilar is here to serve Whidbey — literally.

She and her team of Whidbey Waiter drivers will show up at any home or office on the island with food from local restaurants, groceries, flowers — whatever the customer wants.

“Anything that people need help with, that’s what we’ll be doing,” Aguilar said.

Since she founded Whidbey Waiter in September, the services provided have expanded exponentially. She recently even started doing dump runs and Costco trips for her clientele.

The business concept grew from her own desire to have more “big-city conveniences,” like she had when she lived in Bellevue. There were few options for delivery and she considered those who might struggle with transportation: seniors, new moms, parents whose spouses are deployed, or people who just don’t like going to the grocery store.

It began with her and one driver, serving only Coupeville and Oak Harbor. Now, she employs eight people and counting and covers the whole island. Although, the last five months haven’t come without growing pains. She quickly learned there were a lot of moving parts she needed to consider: how to order, how customers should pay, when to dispatch.

One of her employees, Dacotah Cook, said finding houses in the dark was one of her biggest challenges to start with— especially given there are a number of cellphone service black holes on Whidbey.

“We have to evolve on almost an hourly basis,” Aguilar said.

The process is smoothing out, and she said her goal is to create the best possible experience for her clients. To order, potential customers can call, text or email their order and address for delivery. Drivers are instructed to maintain contact throughout to ensure the order is correct and the customers know when to expect their food.

There’s a $10 delivery fee for restaurant orders, between $15 and $35 for groceries, $25 to $60 for Costco runs and $30 for dump runs. She doesn’t receive discounts from any of the businesses she uses.

For now, deliveries take place between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., but Aguilar is striving to expand hours to 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. She’s also eagerly looking to lengthen the list of services provided.

Aguilar, who describes herself has being an “entrepreneur at heart,” has a heaping pile of ideas in the oven. By late spring, she hopes to provide a subscription-based meal box. A recipe and the needed ingredients, locally grown and sourced, would be delivered to subscribers on a regular basis.

By fall, she’s hoping to get some of her employees through the doorway and into people’s houses as housekeepers.

“If I’m able to make something happen,” she said, “why not?”

• To order, call or text 206-707-4555 or email whidbeywaiter@gmail.com

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