When two childhood friends became college graduates in 2020 in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, they would start their own company geared toward older residents in need of help with grocery shopping and errands.
The company, MyGrandson, does not just provide services for chores, errands or grocery shopping. MyGrandson’s other services include pharmacy pickups, watering of plants, walking of dogs and helping with technology.
“This business was born out of the coronavirus pandemic, but this is all about connection and relationships. The goal is more than one service and is seasonal too,” MyGrandson Vice President Cole Valente said. “So in the initial stages we were kind of going off of, let’s get people groceries, certainly early at the 6 a.m. senior times, but we were also thinking that we can’t paint someone’s whole house, however if we can do some basic yard work and deliveries that is what we were thinking of as a good place to start off from.”
MyGrandson’s story began when founder Ned Roosevelt, who graduated from Wheaton College in Massachusetts, reached out in the spring of 2020 to friend Cole Valente, who was a graduate of Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, about establishing an operation for older residents in need of everyday services during the pandemic. They went on to establish MyGrandson from the ground up beginning in May of last year.
“Obviously, coronavirus cut our second half of senior year short. We were trying to figure out what to do and every senior was trying to figure out what to do,” Valente said. “Ned gave me a call and we talked it over and the idea was basically to connect our generation of recent college graduates, 22-year-olds and young adults with older generations, while also providing needed services.”
By mid- to late June the newly created company launched its website, which at the beginning was bare bones. Since the launch MyGrandson’s website displays not only the rates for its services, but a list of its safety measures utilized for the company’s implemented safety policy to protect customers and staff, along with information about the company’s leadership and team.
MyGrandson currently operates out of two locations. One location is led by Roosevelt in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire, and the other in Princeton, which is spearheaded by Valente.
“This grew out of trying to brighten someone’s day and helping them out. It was pretty scary during those initial quarantine months and still is now. We thought why not try and help these people who are immunocompromised and 65 and up,” Valente said.
MyGrandson was designed from the beginning as a delivery and personal concierge service.
“We wanted to put an emphasis and do put an emphasis on the personal,” Valente added. “With social distancing we have to be safe, especially with older individuals, but our goal and what we try to do is have conversations whether they be 5, 10, 15 minutes or longer and organically just kind of talk with our clients on top of providing whichever service is requested.”
Services such as chores and errands are $25 an hour, the company rate for grocery shopping is 20% of the total bill, pharmacy pickups have a $10 flat rate and other jobs like walking the dog or water plants are $20 an hour.
In the summer of 2020, when MyGrandson began, jobs requested would include basic yard work, the moving of household items such as wood or furniture, watering plants, and doing pickups and deliveries.
“In the fall it was kind of arranging possessions and still grocery shopping and pick ups and deliveries. Well into winter it was more snow shoveling, pathway shoveling, shoveling steps and still groceries, pickups and deliveries,” Valente said.
The company has so far completed close to 600 jobs since MyGrandson began in the summer of 2020.
In Princeton the operation is just Valente, as jobs are a little more spaced out as he continues to spread the word. But Valente said the requests for services have increased since the winter for the Princeton operation.
“New Hampshire is doing more jobs and more jobs per day. We are looking for a community manager in New Hampshire so they can takeover for Ned and Ned can move on to other towns in New Hampshire,” he said. “I would love more people involved in Princeton. We are looking for a community manager in the future for Princeton and potentially 1099 subcontractors, which is what we are doing in New Hampshire.”
Valente has not experienced situations yet of requests for jobs/services that are more complex or require more experience, but does have a plan if he were to encounter such a scenario.
“If someone does come to me with a job that is more complex and out of my reach and something that maybe I do not have enough experience, I would refer them to the Princeton Senior Resource Center, because they have breadth of resources,” he said.
The goal for the future is to expand the operations post pandemic, whenever that maybe for both the New Hampshire and Princeton locations.
“Right now I am looking to market outside of Princeton as well and do some work in surrounding towns. We are overjoyed with how things are going so far,” Valente said. “We have surpassed our expectation of where this would be at this point.”
For more information about MyGrandson, call 347-882-1550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.