With a background in aerospace engineering, Jim McQuade is flying high with his newest adventure—opening a new grocery store.
But McQuade's new venture is unlike other grocery stores. There is no waiting at the deli counter or checkout lanes. Instead, Addie’s is a drive-thru-only grocery store that eliminates in-store delays with a focus squarely on convenience and time savings.
The 22,000 square-foot grocery store, which is pickup only, was founded by McQuade, 41, who also serves as CEO, and Jeremiah Strauss, CTO, with $10.1 million in seed funding led by the Disruptive Innovation Fund, the venture capital arm of Clay Christensen's Rose Park Advisors. Located at 911 Boston Providence Highway in Norwood, Massachusetts, Addie’s opened last Thursday.
"We believe that taking better care of busy families should be done in a way that also takes care of our team, our community and our planet," said McQuade. "With our seed funding, we've built an end-to-end experience to serve people in and around Norwood in a way that can be replicated in suburbs nationwide. We look forward to quickly expanding, offering busy families across the country drive-up grocery convenience without compromise."
Looking to build a grocery store that works best with a shopper’s schedule was a top priority. “We built Addie’s because we value your time, your money and your food—so nothing goes to waste,” McQuade said. Built to better the environment, Addie’s operates with “one quarter of the electricity required of traditional supermarkets,” McQuade said.
Taking care of its team is also important as starting wages for employees at Addie’s is $20 per hour. “We train them incredibly well,” McQuade said.
Addie’s is designed as an onsite warehouse that has a parking lot with 14 pull-through lanes. Shoppers can log on to Addie’s website or app to buy groceries from a curated selection of about 4,000 products. They then select a pickup time, and the groceries are loaded into their car in a “matter of minutes,” the company said.
As the future of grocery shopping continues to evolve, other drive-up grocers look to be pulling up as well in the grocery space. E-commerce firm Mercatus predicts that online grocery shopping will double to $200-plus billion by 2026, with curbside pickup among the fastest-growing segments.
"The 100-year-old grocery business is not immune to disruption," said Matt Christensen, CEO and managing partner at Rose Park Advisors. "The traditional business model of in-store shopping makes serving convenience-focused shoppers highly challenging. We see disruptive potential in Addie's technology-powered drive-up grocery model and are excited to support them as they launch."