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Upper Valley Restaurant Owners Launch New Food Delivery Co-op

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If you're ordering delivery in the Upper Valley, you don't have to rely only on services like DoorDash anymore. A handful of Upper Valley restaurants launched a food delivery co-op this week, in an attempt to keep those dollars local.   

The idea originated in the throes of the pandemic. Jarett Berke, who owns Lou’s Restaurant and Bakery, and other Hanover restaurant owners were feeling pretty frustrated because each was doing their own delivery.

“Often you’d see one of our delivery drivers driving behind another delivery driver from the restaurant across the street,” Berke says.

And third party delivery apps, like DoorDash, were taking a cut from already thin profit margins.

“Restaurants are paying 10 percent, sometimes upwards of 35 percent of sales for these third party delivery services to do what they do,” Berke says. “We said there’s got to be a better way to do this.”

So he and two other restaurant owners decided to form the Upper Valley Eateries and Retail Consumer Cooperative Society or, U.V.E.R.  

People can go directly to U.V.E.R’s webpage to order food from Lou’s, Boloco or Murphy’s. Currently, the co-op delivers within a 3.5 mile radius from downtown Hanover for a $6 fee. Any deliveries outside of that incur a per-mile charge.

Consumers can pay 25 dollars for a lifetime membership to the co-op, which includes monthly perks and discounts. But membership isn’t necessary to use the service.

“We have our fees set up so it covers our costs, and anything that is above that, any profit goes back to the members of the co-op, which are the consumers,” Berke says.

Berke says he hopes to add more restaurants, retail shops and farms to the delivery platform in the future.

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