Shipt & Western Are BFFs and We’re All Winners!

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Life is full of hard stuff. Real, important stuff like career obstacles, relationship troubles and the impending sense of mortality that defines human existence. But life is also full of stuff that’s not that hard, but is still a bummer — stuff like flossing, grocery shopping, talking our parents through computer problems, and taking out the trash. It’s not so terrible, but when it’s piled on top of the actual hard stuff, it seems insurmountable.


Well, I don’t know a quick fix for the mortality thing, but I do have a good way to deal with the groceries: Enter Shipt, the grocery-delivery App that’s sweeping the nation … and that started right here in Birmingham, Alabama. Yeah, you read that right — it’s not from Brooklyn or California. It’s not from whatever benevolent alien race brought us Uber and Airbnb.* It’s from real humans in Birmingham, Alabama.


If you’re a Shipt customer, or if you know a Shipt customer, you probably already know about this App, because happy Shipt customers can’t shut up about how great it is. And it is really great to know that, whatever else life throws at me, when it comes to groceries, I’m going to be taken care of. When I’m stuck in traffic, a Shipt shopper can be grabbing me dinner. When I’m in the middle of a client meeting and realize that I’m out of toothpaste, I quickly add it to my App, and it appears in my grocery bag like magic. And when I’m being a bit too obsessed with the weight of existence, someone will bring me ice cream. It’s like I’m one of those celebrities that orders my assistant around to do all kinds of tasks normal people do for themselves, and it feels awesome.


If I were just writing about Shipt, I’d be a little late to the party, because it’s been around for awhile. But yesterday I was so excited to learn that, in Birmingham, Shipt will now not only deliver from Publix, but will now offer a choice between Publix and … drumroll please … Western. Yes, that Western, the one that’s LOCALLY OWNED. So I can buy groceries from a locally owned grocery store and have them delivered by a locally owned company. I can even order a local product, like Red Bike Coffee or Icebox Coffee (yes, I’m obsessed with coffee), right from the App … that’s local on local on local, which I think should earn me something cool, like maybe local-taxpayer brownie points, or the Republican Presidential nomination, or a free tote bag.


I’m not sure how the Western/Shipt partnership came about, but I can say I’m grateful for it. Shopping local matters because it keeps money and jobs in our local communities. And when life’s troubles seem too big and I just can’t bring myself to face the chore of grocery shopping (or when it’s Sunday, because a Sunday grocery line is bleak), I’m happy to be able to do good for my community from the comfort of my couch; it makes those big problems seem just the tiniest bit smaller.


Carrie Rollwagen is a book reviewer Southern Living; she’s also Communications Director at Infomedia and wrote a book about local buying, The Localist. Find her on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter @crollwagen.


* Sorry to Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp of Uber and Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky and Nathan Blecharczyk of Airbnb. I know you are not aliens. Well, I assume you are not aliens.

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