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August 22, 2013 - Image 46

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-08-22

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Convenience, At Your Dorm

Three young entrepreneurs to start an on-campus
grocery delivery service on U-M campus.


Leslie Spector } 1N Intern

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August 22 • 2013


fter living in the dorms for a year
and not having viable options to
get groceries and other everyday
products, three young entrepreneurs
from the University of Michigan created
Symplenish, a lifestyle delivery service
based on college campuses, launching for
the first time at U-M in the fall.
Sophomores Zach Bruch of West
Caldwell, N.J., Austin Green of West
Bloomfield and Zack Neff of Bloomfield
Hills came up with this idea halfway
through their freshman year and began
brainstorming/planning how to pursue it.
"I was one of the only freshmen who
had a car, and people would constantly
ask me to take them to Meijer," said Neff,
who belongs to Temple Israel in West
Bloomfield, where he was president of his
youth group.
"We realized a lot of students don't
have access to these goods so we
thought, 'Why don't we just deliver it to
"If you want a 24-pack of bottled
water in Ann Arbor, you have to walk at
least 10 minutes to CVS, get the water
and then carry it all the way back to
your dorm," said Green, who attends
Congregation B'nai Moshe in West
Bloomfield. "We saw this as a problem
that needed fixing."
The trio has a deal with Coke and D&B
Wholesale and Distributors in Livonia,
who will help provide larger quantities of
food and drinks for Symplenish. The plan
is to start with the basics during Welcome
Week, receive feedback from customers
and go from there in terms of what stu-
dents want and need.
All requests for delivery are online.
Students will simply go to the website
(www.symplenish.com ) and select the
products and quantity of what they want.
For larger groups, customers can fill out


a form or contact Bruch, Green and Neff
directly through email or by phone to cre-
ate a more customized plan.
Toiletries such as toothpaste, facial tis-
sue and other products will be available
in the near future. All goods for the deliv-
ery service will be held in a storage unit
in Ann Arbor. The team has a truck that
they will use to pick up larger shipments
of food and drinks from D&B Wholesale
and Distributors.
"I'm the only one with a car out of the
three of us, so for now that will be our
primary source of delivery," Neff said.
"I'm very passionate about our idea, so I
will do whatever I can to get it done. We
will eventually look for employees to help
out as the business grows."
Big plans are in the works for welcome
week at Michigan this fall. Move-in day is
hot and tiring, so the trio will have tables
set up at all the major dorms with water
and snacks, and they will be giving away
T-shirts so students and parents see the
brand right away.
Symplenish's main target is going to be
the dorms on campus; however, they will
be working with larger institutions such
as fraternities, sororities and small busi-
nesses around Ann Arbor. The trio is in
discussion with potential customers from
these larger institutions about creating
monthly deals.
For now, all the profit made from deliv-
eries is going right back into the busi-
ness. In the future Bruch, Green and Neff
are going to split the profits, as well as
donate a portion to a nonprofit organiza-
tion called Charity Water, which brings
clean, safe drinking water to people in
developing countries.
This is the first entrepreneurial effort
for Bruch, Green and Neff. They are eager
to return to school in the fall and offi-
cially start their business. @

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