Sometimes inspiration for a business grows from the seeds planted by family and friends.
This was certainly true for Curie and JP Gooden, the husband and wife team behind Yardley-based Getanicki, who understood the value of having a supportive network.
For Curie, it was customary never to show up on a relative’s doorstep empty handed.
As a first-generation Filipino American, she was in the habit of stopping by a restaurant or store on her way to visit family, a brother, a cousin, to fulfill a request for their favorite treat or a hard-sought ingredient. In turn, Curie could expect the same.
“We’re all in close proximity. I think our families have built it this way, so that no matter what they need, they have access to it by geography. Like, ‘Oh, you’re in North Jersey, in Edison, can you grab me some H-Mart stuff.’ When you have family visiting, you’re always leaving with more things because people are just bringing things from every which way. It’s in a way a little Filipino network of resources, ”said Curie.
For JP, whose parents emigrated from Jamaica, he found himself making runs to New Jersey for Jamaican products his dad couldn’t otherwise find where he lived.
“My dad, who passed away last year, was in Seattle and they didn’t have many Jamaican spots by him and so he was always asking me to go to this place in Trenton and get like eight things of jerk seasoning and package it all up and send it to him, ”JP said.
In many ways, Curie and JP felt this upbringing – a close-knit network of family helping one another on demand — it was part of what led them to creating Getanicki, an errand-running service specializing in personalized and locally curated convenience.
The name itself was inspired by a friend, a fellow mom who embodied the spirit of what they hoped to offer in their community.
“When we thought of this business idea of running around and doing errands for people or delivering convenience, we thought there’s no other person that’s more willing to do so much for someone than our friend, Nicki. We felt everyone needed a Nicki in their lives, so that’s why we named it GetaNicki, ”said Curie.
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The business got its start in May 2021, during a time when many individuals and families were continuing to stay home amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“People were just getting their vaccinations; the world wasn’t open yet. People just didn’t want to leave the house, ”said Curie. “Sometimes whole households had Covid, so they couldn’t leave their homes, so they’d call and provide us with a whole list of things to do for them. Some have had surgeries or just had babies and needed assistance. ”
JP said he felt there was a big opportunity to create a more customized experience, an opening left by larger on-demand delivery services, like DoorDash, Instacart, Postmates and TaskRabbit.
“We’ve seen how these various services have become a critical part of our lives over the pandemic. They’ve accelerated their growth so much. But I saw there was still a big gap for little odds and ends that you can’t get anybody to do right now, ”he said.
“We can do everything that all these other businesses can get done. We’re just as fast as them, we’re just as responsive, but we know our customers. There is nothing we can not do. We fill in the blanks that these other apps are lacking, ”said Curie.
Getanicki offers a variety of services ranging from grocery shopping, retail pickups and meal prep to dropping off flowers to a friend, making party favors or putting together a custom gift basket.
Clients send in their requests which are then organized into routes assigned to “Nickis,” contracted individuals who are paid for each Nicki run, plus gratuities. Customers pay flat rate charged per run or a sliding scale fee for shopping trips. There is also an option to sign up for a monthly membership plan which comes with the added benefit of reduced fees and perks like free donation pickups.
In addition, Getanicki puts out a weekly pop-up schedule, letting their clients and followers know which places their Nickis plan on visiting that week, helping to promote businesses both within their local service area – consisting of Newtown, Yardley, Washington Crossing, Levittown , Wrightstown, Lower Makefield, Fairless Hills and Langhorne — and some that are more out of the way. These include local restaurants, grocery stores and farmers markets.
“A lot of times, we’re kind of curators of the local community. We can help you decide or figure out what you want when you don’t necessarily know what you want, ”said JP.
“We’ve really found we’ve been able to broaden people’s reach that they wouldn’t have had access to or wouldn’t otherwise heard of. The more Nickis we get, the more we’ll people we’ll have in these different areas to share their knowledge with people. ”
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Getanicki doesn’t pass any cost along to the businesses they’ve partnered with – there are no commission rates or contracts to sign, explained JP. While businesses that partner with one of the more popular services, such as DoorDash, for example, pay a commission rate of 12-30% per delivery order depending on the plan they’ve signed up for.
Through Getanicki, Curie said customers pay the same price for products as they would in-store, as opposed to larger delivery service apps where prices can be as much as a few dollars higher per item. According to Instacart, these prices can sometimes vary and are set directly by the retailers.
JP said it was important they kept their prices affordable and transparent for their customers, and that they maintained an equitable partnership with the businesses.
“Everyone loves to support the small businesses,” said JP. “By promoting them, we’re promoting ourselves. We’re not taking a percentage from their margins and they’re happy to get the business. ”
Curie said she loves that she’s able to make people happy through something as simple as helping them with their errands.
“It gives them the time to not stress about all the things they have to do, and instead spend time with their baby or time with their kids,” said Curie. “It’s the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done.”
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