Peapod, the web-based produce delivery company is experimenting with their business model and introducing a physical location. As part of a pilot program, Peapod will open one of the country's first drive-through facilities on Lake Cook Rd. in Deerfield.
On Monday, the Deerfield Village Board of Trustees greenlit Peapod's plans to open the drive-through facility in the former Amcore Bank building. Peapod customers will now have the option to order food online and pick it up at the facility within a few hours.
“This will allow our customers to place an order and get it two hours later,” Peapod Public Relations Manager Alana Margolis said. “If you want your groceries hand-picked and placed in your car this is an added convenience.”
The location is adjacent to the parking lot of the Milwaukee Division of Metra’s Lake Cook Road station allowing people to place an order from their place of work and have it ready when they get off the train.
Though the Board was unanimous in its vote and happy with the project, it was not without questions for representatives of Peapod during Monday’s presentation. Trustee Alan Farkas wanted to know if the sales tax generated would go to Deerfield. Margolis indicated today Illinois law would be followed.
Other Board members hope to see a more decorative building than the current bank shell. Trustees Robert Benton and Barbara Struthers hoped decorative glass displaying the company’s products could be placed on the windows. “The employees would still be able to see out,” Benton said.
Struthers let Peapod attorney and spokesperson Bruce Chanen know it would be to his client’s benefit to make the windows more festive.
“Can you come up with something other than those blank blinds,” she said. “Show produce pictures, some of the stuff you sell.”
Mayor Harriet Rosenthal was concerned about the length of time people would be in line and what would happen if they were delayed arriving at the facility. “What if they’re scheduled for six and they show up at five,” she asked?
Chanen responded the company’s employees were well trained and customer service was a priority. “We’re not just a grocery company, we’re a data company and a logistics company,” he said. “They will work it out or change the rule.”
Rosenthal asked Chanen to return with answers about sales taxes, car idling and scheduling when the Board considers a first reading of the ordinance Sept. 4.