H-E-B Partners with Instacart for Grocery Delivery Service

Instacart Expands Delivery Service To Katy and Woodlands Area

San Francisco, Calif. – September 1, 2015Instacart (www.Instacart.com), the fast-growing grocery delivery service whose personal shoppers hand pick and deliver items from trusted local stores, announced today that it has partnered with H-E-B (www.heb.com), one of the largest independent food retailers in the nation. Instacart customers in the Austin and Houston areas will now have access to a broader assortment of H-E-B items, all delivered in as soon as one hour.

“Don’t have time to come to H-E-B? No problem. We’ll bring H-E-B to you with Instacart,” said Scott McClelland, President of H-E-B Houston Division. “Instacart’s ability to deliver on-demand clearly matches our focus of making our customers’ lives better. We are excited to offer a larger assortment of H-E-B items to customers in Austin and Houston.”

“H-E-B epitomizes the kind of customer focused retailer that Instacart loves to partner with, so that we can give our Texas customers access to a Texas favorite grocer,” said Nilam Ganenthiran, Vice President of Business Development & Strategy for Instacart. “We’re looking forward to continuing our work with H-E-B.”

Instacart also announced today that it has expanded its Houston delivery area into the Katy and Woodlands areas. Houston area customers will have access to Whole Foods Market, Costco (no membership required), Petco, and H-E-B. For maps of Instacart delivery areas across the U.S. including Houston, visit https://www.instacart.com/locations.

Originally launched in San Francisco, and since expanded into many other cities, Instacart has fundamentally changed the traditional grocery delivery space by connecting customers with personal shoppers who shop for and deliver grocery orders in as little as one hour. This eliminates the need for costly infrastructure such as inventory, warehouses and trucks. In January 2015, Forbes named Instacart “America’s Most Promising Company.

New customers can open an account at www.Instacart.com/heb, and get free delivery and $10 off their first order using promo code HEBLOVE through September 30, 2015. Instacart also offers Instacart Express – an annual membership that eliminates delivery fees for all orders of $35 or more. The cost is just $99 per year.  

About H-E-B

H-E-B, with sales of more than $22 billion, operates more than 360 stores in Texas and Mexico. Known for its innovation and community service, H-E-B is celebrating its 110th anniversary in 2015. Recognized for its fresh food, quality products, convenient services, and a commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability, H-E-B strives to provide the best customer experience at everyday low prices. Based in San Antonio, H-E-B employs more than 85,000 Partners and serves millions of customers in more than 150 communities. For more information, visit heb.com.

About Instacart

Instacart allows people to order groceries online by connecting them with personal shoppers who hand pick items at customers’ local, favorite stores and deliver straight to their doors. Founded in San Francisco in 2012, Instacart has quickly scaled to 17 cities across the US and partnered with dozens of grocery retailers, including popular national chains (Whole Foods Market, Costco, Petco) as well as local, regional grocers (Zabar’s, Bi-Rite, Plum Market). By combining a personal touch with cutting-edge technology, Instacart offers customers a simple solution to save time and eat fresh food from the grocery brands they trust. Instacart is the only grocery service that can meet today’s on-demand lifestyle by delivering in as little as one hour. First delivery is free at www.Instacart.com.

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For information, contact:

press@instacart.com

Working around unpredictable schedules, earning bonus income as an Instacart Shopper

When a parent’s nest is finally empty, the lovely moments of raising a child — helping with homework, running to doctor’s appointments, rides to school and friends’ houses, practices, clubs, games and the little smiles in between — all of a sudden disappear. The kids are out of the house and sometimes a parent can be left searching for ways to fill the time.

Not Sharon S.

Sharon lives in Mountain View, California, and has one daughter living nearby and another in Texas. Sharon has jumped in feet first as a stage manager at a local non-profit youth theater organization with the extra time in her life. This is a job with a lot of descriptions. She has to attend every rehearsal. She has to ensure all the adults understand their particular jobs, that the kids know where to be during the performance, that the costumes are in order and that the music is in place.

Basically, as Sharon puts it, she has to “Be the person who knows exactly what is going on.” The theater company of seven- to seventeen-year-olds just did Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and are working on The Lion King and Bah Humbug, a light-hearted derivation of A Christmas Carol.

The stage manager work lets her flex her maternal muscles, but she still wanted something to generate extra income. So Sharon started as a Personal Shopper with Instacart in August of 2013. Sharon’s husband earns an income to support their household, so the money that Sharon makes with Instacart supports what she calls “extras.” Now she says they can afford to hire a house cleaner or someone to tend to the yard — “Things I would rather not be doing,” Sharon says.

But Sharon also loves the little moments of fun that Instacart affords. She has taken a lot of orders over the last couple years and says her favorite are the “gift orders.” For instance, one customer had stayed at a friend’s house and wanted to say thank you — but didn’t have the time to buy a present before departing. Sharon laughs at how she showed up at the unwitting recipient’s door with candy bars and got to say “Ta-da! Here’s a thank you!”

Sharon had previously worked part-time as a PE teacher at an elementary school, but she needed work that fit better around her schedule at the youth theater. So now Sharon says she and her husband can not only afford to take an extra trip each year, but she also has the time to do it. When her daughter graduated college, Sharon took a month off — and then picked up Instacart shifts without problem when she returned.

Intsacart gives shoppers the flexibility to transition careers, give back to the community

Raymond P has starred on Broadway in shows like Hair, The Three Musketeers, Miss Saigon and Jesus Christ Superstar. He’s been in movies like Charlie’s Angels and even played the role of Jafar in a stage production of Disney’s Aladdin. Raymond will be the first person to tell you — with very real humility — what a blessed career he’s had as an actor and he will also be the first person to tell you how important it is for people with blessed experiences to give back to the community.

These days Raymond’s in the process of change. He’s converting decades of singing and performing into a new career as a songwriter. “That really feeds my soul right now,” he says.

He and a few partners in Los Angeles have launched a company that writes tunes for singers searching for their next hit. But Hollywood is a place where connections are king. One of the partners at Raymond’s company has a strong rolodex, but it’s still a grind to get their songs to all the right ears. And the company only makes money when someone buys a song and the rights.

“It’s a very connected industry. They don’t take unsolicited material,” Raymond says. “We’re still relatively young.”

So Raymond has had to find ways to pay the bills outside of songwriting and started working as a Personal Shopper with Instacart in July of 2014 to help him do just that. “Instacart has been a savior in many respects,” he says, noting this is the first time he’s worked as an independent contractor. And he is loving it. He chooses his own hours and always has flexibility if an important meeting comes up. He says that, with Instacart, he can fit work around his life and other commitments. “It’s such a cool company.”

A lot of songwriting is about empathy, feeling what other people go through, and transferring those experiences into music. Raymond’s found that as a Personal Shopper, he’s able to connect with so many people he wouldn’t have otherwise. One customer to whom he’s delivered groceries is homebound and couldn’t shop if she wanted to. Helping her is something that inspires Raymond’s creative spirit but more importantly, inspires his heart: he is truly enabling another human to live their life.

“To know that you’re shopping for someone and helping someone that can’t go out into the world, and you’re bringing what they need to them — it’s a serviceable thing,” he says. “That’s the key: keep busy with things that are serviceable and helps others. Instacart serves that purpose in so many ways.”

Raymond’s young company also coaches up-and-coming singers. Even as the salutatorian of his high school in Washington D.C., Raymond didn’t have many mentors or people opening doors for him when he was trying to make it in showbiz in New York and LA. So he feels like he needs to lend a hand to today’s young singers.

“It’s important to me to feel like I’m giving back, because I’ve had these incredible opportunities,” he says.

Learn more about becoming a shopper at Instacart.

Instacart Takes Off In Indianapolis, IN

We are excited to announce the launch of Instacart’s on-demand grocery delivery service in Indianapolis, our 17th market!

Starting today, customers in Indianapolis can order groceries and other items from their neighborhood Whole Foods Market, Marsh Supermarkets, Georgetown Market, Costco and Petco stores and have them delivered straight to their door in as little as one hour.

There were many factors that made Indianapolis a great place for us to bring our service.

First and foremost, it’s about our customers. We saw a tremendous number of requests from the Indianapolis community to bring Instacart to their hometown. From the influx of young people who are staying and working in the city, to the families and seniors who need more flexible shopping options, Instacart is uniquely positioned to help meet the growing customer demand for convenient, speedy, and quality grocery delivery.

In addition to the outpouring of customer support, we also saw very high interest from grocery stores in the city–from our national retail partners to our new local partners, Marsh Supermarkets and Georgetown Market. By partnering with both local and national grocers, Instacart’s shopping model helps expand their reach to even more Indianapolis residents.

As our launch here in Indianapolis demonstrates, Instacart can be a part of the solution for cities of all sizes across the country when it comes to expanding access to convenient and affordable grocery options for their communities–and we are thrilled to be here in such a great city!

— Apoorva Mehta, Founder & CEO at Instacart

The craze is real! Catch Hatch Chiles before they’re gone!

For one short time every year, the mouthwateringly delicious but rare chiles from Hatch, New Mexico are only in season… and that time is NOW! Today we’re sharing our favorite Hatch Chile recipes and tips for making the most of these delicious peppers.

What makes a Hatch Chile so special? The intense climate of New Mexico with its hot days and cold nights makes this a one-of-a-kind veggie with a uniquely robust and meaty flavor. Once you taste an authentic fire-roasted Hatch Chile, you’ll never look back! We’ve heard of people stocking up on 10, 20, even 50 pound bags of Hatch Chiles to stockpile these delicious peppers and take advantage of them before they’re gone.

If you’re going to be cooking with Hatch Chiles, here’s what you need to know to pick the best ones:

Shopping for Hatch Chiles:

For Fresh: When selecting fresh Hatch Chiles, look for glossy green peppers with firm to medium-thick texture, and no soft spots.

For Pre-Roasted: If you buy roasted chiles, the chiles will need to be peeled/stemmed/seeded by you!

Of course, if you’re shopping on Instacart you can leave the produce picking to our expert shoppers, and sit back and relax while getting Hatch Chiles delivered straight to your doorstep.

Cooking your Hatch Chiles:

If you’ll be roasting Hatch Chiles yourself, get a guide on how to roast Hatch Chiles so you do it right! Roasting the chiles and freezing them is a great way to make them last throughout the year and enjoy Hatch Chiles until next August.

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via Krissa Corbett Cavouras on Flickr

Too hot to roast chiles in your oven? Try these alternative methods by The Kitchn to cook your Hatch Chiles before freezing:

Outdoor grill: Roast chiles directly on the grill, watching them closely and turning over as needed.

Electric or gas burner: Cover the burner with wire mesh and roast chiles on top, turning over as needed.

Cast iron skillet: Roast chiles in a skillet over medium-high heat, turning over as needed.

Open flame: Holding a chile pepper with tongs, carefully char it over an open gas flame or using a culinary torch.

Hatch Chile Recipes:

We’ve asked some of our partnered grocery stores to share their Hatch Chile recipes, and believe us — they look GOOD! Click the links below to check them out, and then order Hatch Chiles AND all the recipe ingredients for dinner tonight…

Roasted Hatch Chile Mac & Cheese by Mollie Stone’s Markets

Hatch Mac & Cheese blog

Breakfast Strata with Hatch Chiles and Sausage by Whole Foods Market

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Red Hatch Chile Sauce by Fresh & Easy

red chile sauce blog

New Mexico Hatch Chile Pork Tostada by Bi-Rite Market

pork hatch chiles blog

Don’t wait until the season is over — Hatch Chiles are going to be out of your local grocery stores before you know it! Which recipe will you be making for dinner tonight?

 

Top image c/o The Turquoise Table on Flickr

Instacart shopper schedules help make room for art, family and work

One of the great keys for success as an artist is keeping it fresh. Whether painting, music, poetry or anything in between, artists constantly labor to devise new ideas for their work while improving on the existing.

Maggie C. is a silversmith in Boulder, Colorado. She spends up to 40 hours each week in her small studio making beautiful charms, bracelets and necklaces, which she sells on Etsy and her own website. But making jewelry, like any artform, requires an artist to keep pace with changing tastes and trends. Thinking through original concepts takes space and time — and often artists don’t have the financial means to set aside that breathing room.

“Instacart frees me up to be more creative. I’m able to be riskier or more thoughtful with my work,” Maggie says. “Sometimes when I’m doing stuff over and over again, I feel like a machine. But when you’re not worried about money, you can do more.”

Maggie started working with Instacart in August of 2014. Previously she’d worked in the restaurant business, even owning a little coffee shop in Aspen with her husband. But when she went back to school for web design and e-commerce and took some silversmithing classes on the side, she knew she’d found her true calling.

Like drawing, painting or sculpture, metalwork is a field of artistry where supplies don’t come cheap. Maggie’s jewelry not only includes silver but precious stones, pearls and crystals. Experimentation can be an expensive affair, not to mention she endures the cost of replacing tools or trying new techniques.

With the help of the money she earns through Instacart, “I can really help concentrate on developing a line,” she says.

Retail is also extremely seasonal. Following the winter holidays most creators see a sharp drop in sales. “It gets really quiet,” Maggie says. So when business slowed this past year Maggie was able to increase the amount of time she spent working as a Personal Shopper, and know she could easily step it back down when she wanted to spend more time in the studio. “Instacart has been really steady, something I can count on. It’s just given me a really good income on a regular basis,” she says.

Now she and her husband, a video engineer, are working to put their second son through college. Their youngest son will be graduating high school soon. And Maggie’s oldest has since moved to Oklahoma. Two years ago Maggie became a grandma and just recently found out her granddaughter will soon have a sibling.

So the importance of being able to travel and visit her growing family has skyrocketed. She loves that her work with Instacart provides her with the flexibility to leave town whenever she wants and then come back and pick up right where she left off. “I wouldn’t have been able to do that otherwise,” she said.

“I always had the flexibility, but I wouldn’t have had the money.”

 

Learn more about becoming a shopper at Instacart.

Maximizing family time and income: one Instacart Shopper’s story

If you catch Jazmin S.’s voicemail you will hear one of the most adorable young voices–her five-year-old daughter, asking you to leave a message for her mom and then about five seconds of pure, heart-warming giggling.

Jazmin is a single mom and nothing is more important to her than her children. She, her daughter and her five-month-old son live in Pilsen on the lower west side of Chicago, where Jazmin grew up. The kids’ father lives in the area, but Jazmin also relies on her large extended family to care for them. Jazmin’s grandmother, who emigrated from Mexico, has lived in the same house for over sixty years; four of her six children still live within walking distance. The other two, including Jazmin’s mom, aren’t much farther away.

“I’m very family oriented,” Jazmin says.

Like many of us, Jazmin is also answering the question of what she wants to do with her own career. She’s worked office jobs, retail jobs, as a party planner and holds both a real estate and bartending license. “I worked a lot and the pay wasn’t great,” she says. “I felt like I was taking a lot of time to be away from my kids.”

Now Jazmin works with Instacart as a Personal Shopper at the Costco just to the north of Pilsen. Being able to schedule when exactly she works allows her to both maximize income and family time. “The convenience works really well,” she says.

Jazmin first started working with Instacart in December 2013 but then took a year off to have her son. When she wanted to come back, she says Instacart welcomed her with open arms. “I really appreciated that,” she says. One of the key benefits while raising her infant has been that the flexibility allows her to continue breastfeeding. “I don’t have to put him on formula,” she says happily.

And the fact that the dynamics of her house are changing makes that flexibility even more important: her daughter just graduated from kindergarten, started playing basketball and will soon start at a summer camp focused on math and science. Jazmin realizes she’s embarking on the, let’s say, “chauffeur phase” of parenting, so being able to schedule work around her family commitments will be critical.

That flexibility has also allowed more quality time with the extended family. “It’s always someone’s birthday or a party,” she laughs. Jazmin sometimes works for a few hours, knocks off to attend a family gathering and then gets back to work.

“I never really had to check in with anybody to say I was leaving,” she says.

She’s also built a community with Instacart shoppers as well. Eight of her friends, including her best friend, work with Instacart. Often when she talks with people that are considering working with Instacart, they’re confused about how the scheduling and logistics work. So Jazmin explains how shoppers make their own schedule, how she’s now able to pay her bills with the money she earns through Instacart — and most importantly, how she’s able to maximize time with her children.
“It’s very simple,” she says.

 

Learn more about becoming a shopper at Instacart.