Liquor store now offering delivery

Liquor store now offering delivery


MADISON — Madison Cellars is the first liquor store in the area to offer home liquor delivery here after a state law went into effect July 1 making home liquor delivery legal.

Madison Cellars owner Pete Clark said their first delivery was Thanksgiving Day. He said they got an order for a nice bottle of scotch, a bottle of The Glenlivet 14 Year. 

Clark said they are the “guinea pig” for the service in the area.

“It went off without a hitch,” Clark said.

Clark partnered with Raj Ramarao, who developed a website called Moonshine Mississippi that connects customers to local liquor stores and facilitates deliveries with its own drivers.

Ramarao said he started working on the website in June of this year before the law making it legal went into effect on July 1. He said the reaction has been positive so far, but they are still getting the word out and do not have the regular users to put their website to the test.

“It has been pretty good so far,” Ramarao said. “We have had a lot of interest from customers, but there are still lots of kinks.”

Clark is teaming up with Ramarao to develop an app to make home liquor delivery more convenient for his customers in the city and a 30-mile surrounding area.

“I think a lot of stores are watching to see what we are doing,” Clark said. “Raj is a super good guy,” Clark said. “He is local, and I have met his drivers and like them a lot.”

Clark said drivers have to get a certification and have software that can scan drivers’ licenses to ensure they deliver to people of age.

They hope to offer an app at the beginning of 2022.

“An app will make the purchase experience easier,” Ramarao said. “We are trying to provide convenience for our customers.”

Clark opened Madison Cellars in 1988. He compares adding home delivery service to the store to learning the business early on.

“It is just another step in the process,” Clark said.

Clark said people have become accustomed to getting goods delivered from Amazon or the local grocery store. He said that liquor was bound to go that way sooner or later, and home liquor delivery is already a reality in bigger markets such as Chicago and New Orleans. 

Clark said they are at the stage where good feedback while encouraging, is not the most helpful. They learn more about how to improve service from negative feedback.

“We are kind of pioneering this,” Clark said. “So far, there has been not a lot of feedback, but what we have gotten is good. We need a lot more negative feedback. That is more valuable right now, so we know where we need to make changes.”

Ramarao said that as traffic increases, they can fine-tune their software and get into more stores for customer convenience.

“We have seen traffic going up during the last couple of weeks and hope to pick up more by the end of the year,” Ramarao said.

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