The first Black-owned contactless grocery just hit the Atlanta market thanks to husband-and-wife, Jamie and Jilea Hemmings.
According to TechCrunch, the dynamic duo created Nourish + Bloom Market to provide more than 1,000 locally sourced, healthy food products to the community, which includes baked goods, dairy, meats, prepared meals, and produce.
Their journey to entrepreneurship began for the pair when their eldest child was diagnosed with autism at the age of six. After researching the impact that autism can have on one’s diet, the husband-and-wife built a food company that took “child favorites” and turned them into healthier options.
Now, the sentiment is the same after finding themselves in need of healthier food options upon moving to Atlanta two years ago.
“We thought of the idea a year ago, during the pandemic, to provide a solution for customers where they wouldn’t have to wait in line or touch anything while checking out,” said Jamie Hemmings in an interview with TechCrunch.
How It Works
Users can download the app, enter their payment information and once they are inside of the store, they will scan a code at the turnstile, which creates a digital cart. From there, users are able to walk throughout the store while a combination of 30 cameras and weighted shelves monitor and track their shopping experience.
Upon leaving the store, consumers will be charged via their method of payment and will receive a receipt via the app.
The store also features a bistro that is open for breakfast with an all-day menu that includes food and drinks inspired by the couple’s Caribbean and New York roots.
While the experience is completely interaction-free, the Nourish + Bloom Market has staff on deck available to assist shoppers if needed.
An Autonomous Future
While contactless grocery stores offer a peek into the future, this company isn’t the first to put its foot in the race toward what’s to come.
Other companies who are hopping on the wave of autonomous grocery stories are made up of brands like Amazon Go, 7-Eleven, and even retail giant, Walmart.
“Big players are still trying to perfect this, and here are these two motivated entrepreneurs whom we have watched work on this for the last year,” said Rob Parker, president of Trilith. “They have now accomplished it and we are set to scale it.”
Other companies creating a cashier-less technology experience for customers are AiFi, Grabango, Sensei, Standard Cognition, Trigo, and Zippin.
Prior to its launch, Nourish + Bloom was in beta over the course of two months.
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