Grocery shopping just got a little easier for some Oakdale community members and Carolyn Bell is happy to be of service.
Bell is the owner and founder of the recently launched “CJ’s Mobile Grocery.” Her role is simple; a personal shopper for getting the grocery shopping done. Her goal is to aid those who are short on time, restricted to their home or are not able to grocery shop.
“It’s mostly designed for the seniors of town,” Bell said, “because my hours are Tuesday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.”
A retired senior herself, Bell shared she first came up with the idea after assisting her daughter with her grocery shopping. Looking for a way to make a little extra money to supplement her Social Security and with a passion for serving others, the idea seemed ideal.
Upon researching the Oakdale area and grocery service, Bell discovered while there were e-cart services at area markets there was no actual delivery service.
“Some of us seniors, myself included are not real computer savvy,” she said of her phone in, home delivery business. “And if you are you have to disturb your children to get there to pick it up.”
As Bell began designing the business, targeting the senior market, she began learning of people homebound due to injury or otherwise that could also benefit from her services. With a focus of not just being of service, but being cost effective as well, CJ’s Mobile Grocery is restricted to groceries from Cost Less Market only.
“My fee I think you can cover by shopping at Cost Less and the money you’re saving,” she said.
Bell’s business is licensed and payment for service can be received by cash, check or credit card.
Customers interested in her services call in advance of needing their groceries either days or the night before. Bell shared, she’ll list the groceries needed and set up delivery time. She anticipates she will have four to five delivery times per day. All shopping is restricted to customers in the Oakdale area only.
Her ultimate goal is to fill a monthly calendar of recurring customers with weekly or bi-weekly grocery needs. A file will be kept for each client, adding to the ease of repeat orders. Her vehicle is equipped with a service cart as well as a cold box to hold frozen goods for delivery.
“I’ve always had a special place in my heart for children, seniors and animals,” she said, noting a past life of service via daycare, caregiver and waitress in the restaurant business.
“I loved waiting on the seniors,” she said. “What I liked about it is, I like their stories. I’m a senior myself, so I can relate to getting older.”
Clients interested in speaking with Bell and CJ’s Mobile Grocery may contact her at (209) 840-4909.