RELEASED: Monday, March 28, 2016
Retired and restless, but full of energy and enthusiasm, Shirley and Rene Cormier decided to become entrepreneurs at an age when many of their vintage are content to put their feet up and relax.
“I just need to do something, to keep busy, so I decided to open my own business,” Shirley said. “I saw a real need among seniors and I thought I could help them and create a business that would meet an important need.”
With that in mind, Cormier unveiled her new enterprise, I Run For You, a few months ago. She envisioned a seniors-focused errand and shopping service. “People can email me or phone me with their grocery list and I will go do their shopping for them and deliver their groceries,” Shirley explained. “It’s great for seniors who don’t have transportation or who aren’t able to get out on their own.”
When she learned Shoppers Drug Mart in Gravenhurst was relying on taxis for its deliveries, she made a personal pitch that culminated with I Run For You becoming the store’s official delivery service. “Their customers were so happy to have friendly seniors delivering their prescriptions ” They are thrilled to have us.”
Emboldened, she made a similar pitch to Independent Grocery Store in Gravenhurst, which was also successful. She also walked into the Walmart in Orillia and, eventually, signed a contract to be the delivery service for its pharmacy. Previously, it did not offer prescription delivery.
“It’s really just been about pounding the pavement and making face-to-face presentations,” said Shirley. “It’s been an amazing start for our business.”
It’s been so amazing, Rene decided to give up his school-bus-driving job to help with the prescription-delivery component. “I love it,” said Rene. “I like to talk to people and it keeps me busy.”
And while the duo’s hard work has started to pay off, they stress the business would not be where it is without the help of the Orillia Area Community Development Corporation (CDC). “I kind of stumbled upon the CDC when I went to register my business,” said Shirley.
Since that encounter, she has increasingly relied on the expertise of Brendan Mulholland, the CDC’s Client Services Officer. “He has been an incredible resource for us. I meet with him regularly and he helps keep me on the straight and narrow.”
For example, Mulholland provided some critical advice that led to I Run For You inking its deal with Walmart. “He has a lot of experience and gave us some invaluable advice when we were negotiating with Walmart,” said Shirley. “He’s our mentor,” added Rene.
Samantha Vessios, the CDC’s Office Co-ordinator, has also been helpful. “I had never had a cellphone prior to this, so Samantha helped me with that and she has just been a pleasure to work with,” said Shirley. “The CDC is a fantastic resource. They offer excellent seminars and training opportunities ” and their services are free. I don’t know what we would have done without them.”
With a solid foundation under their new enterprise, the duo is optimistic about the future.
“The sky’s the limit,” said Shirley, who hopes to hire help — she plans to hire seniors — when the Walmart contract kicks in. “Already, the focus of the business has changed from what I envisioned, but you have to be adaptable. We really enjoy being able to help others.”
For more information about I Run For You, call 705-689-6887 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Packet & Times