Sipamandla Shumane, 24, is the CEO of Callityourstore.com, an online business focused focus on delivering groceries to students in the northern suburbs.
And it’s taken off so well it has expanded to deliveries to private homes in the area too.
Shumane gave up mechanical engineering in 2016 to focus on his online grocery business. He was prompted by memories of how he and fellow students battled when travelling by taxi from Bellville to the CPUT Bellville campus carrying so many bags.
“My friend got mugged and his cellphone was taken, and many other students were robbed while walking with their shopping bags,” said Shumane.
His company has partnered with the Belhar SuperSpar in a pilot project that offers buyers the chance to do online purchases on all grocery items except cigarettes, alcohol and frozen foods. But Shumane said frozen foods might also be on the menu soon.
Shumane runs his business with the help of two directors, Mava Shude and Josephine Anie.
Shumane and Shude are both from Indwe in the Eastern Cape and met when they were at high school. He met Anie in 2013 when he still worked in engineering.
“The other four shareholders came to the business as ‘angel investors’, whom I met through friends and family. We describe our business as an online retail store that sells fast-moving consumer goods/ groceries at a reasonable price and provides delivery for the goods purchased.”
Shumane and his two brothers were raised near Indwe, where he matriculated from Ida High. His mother was a single mom who became a Grade R teacher.
Callityourstore.com allows students and private households to order groceries from their homes without having to worry about being robbed or struggling with heavy shopping bags on public transport.
“I also remember that during exam times it was very challenging for students to go out and buy groceries,” said Shumane.
Now he provides a same-day service to people in Belhar, Bellville, Blauwberg, Brackenfell, Durbanville, Goodwood and parts of Milnerton.
The company employs three drivers, but Shumane says: “When we are very busy, I still sometimes have to jump into my car to deliver the baskets.”
Students spend between R300 and R450 a basket while private households can fork out as much as R1500 a basket.
The delivery fee for each customer depends on where they live, and can range from as little as R7 up to R95.
Students still make up the majority of their clients.
Callityourstore.com uses a secured online payment system.