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YourGrocer.com Wants to Come Back

By Erin Joyce

Six months after it threw in the towel with its online grocery delivery business, YourGrocer.com appears to be readying a comeback in the New York Metro area.

A note on the Yourgrocer.com Web site says it will resume service later in May.

"Initially, our delivery area will be somewhat smaller: Manhattan, the Bronx, much of Westchester County and part of Fairfield County, CT. We'll expand from there as the volume grows."

An e-mail sent out to its prior customers this week said YourGrocer "received hundreds of calls and e-mails from customers when deliveries were suspended in December. All urged us to get back into business as soon as possible. "

A principal with YourGrocer's financial backers, BEV Capital, was unavailable for comment and a member of the firm did not want to discuss the plans. Efforts to reach chief executive Max Enock were not successful.

YourGrocer.com had been backed by Brand-Equity Ventures, otherwise known as BEV Capital. The company began as a 10-person operation in 1998 with ambitious plans to compete with the likes of Peapod, Webvan, HomeGrocer.com and other high-profile grocery delivery companies.

Early-stage investors believed the company could grab a share of the New York market by implementing a bulk-buying strategy and adding an online twist to the warehouse-shopping model. The plan was for customers to buy products in large, economical quantities from the Website, then the company's trucks would lumber along with the door-to-door deliveries.

It even acquired another online grocery, NYCGrocery.com, along the way. Although other online grocery-delivery plays are still chugging along, such as Netgrocer.com and Peapod.com, YourGrocer.com ran into a wall when it tried to secure more operating capital in the fall of 2001. It called it quits in late November and shut down by December.

The e-mail asks readers to "please tell your friends about the service. This will greatly help the new YourGrocer grow and expand its services."

It also thanks customers for their support, signing off with: "We love you, YourGrocer The Warehouse Club that Delivers!"