Having your groceries delivered to your door in 30 minutes for a few dollars – does this sound too good to be true? If you live in Queenstown or Auckland this is now a reality, thanks to a venture called Teddy.

Founded by Chaz Savage, Ricki Taiaroa and Daniel Taiaroa, Teddy is very new – it began in April 2022 – but it is moving fast. Customer trials began in August and Teddy has now opened its doors in both Queenstown and Auckland.

“Our goal is to have one new branch of Teddy opening every month or so over the next twelve months,” Chaz says. They hope to have the next branch – in Christchurch – open before Christmas.

The concept behind Teddy is simple. Customers download the app, log in or register, choose their grocery items, pay $8.99 and have the groceries delivered to their door within 30 minutes. If they’re willing to wait up to two hours, the price drops to $5.99.

The key to this speedy delivery is setting up warehouses that are geographically close to the customer base.

“You look at the incumbents in the market, and in most places you’d be lucky to get your groceries delivered in 24 hours,” Chaz says.

However, Teddy’s founders believe they offer a different service to the likes of supermarket delivery.

Teddy drivers are proudly local, know the area and are ready to get what you need in a time that suits you.

“We currently have about 800 products, and the sweet spot for us will be about 1,500 products. Supermarkets obviously carry a lot more products because they have a lot more scale, but we feel we understand the must-haves versus the nice-to-haves in our range,” Ricki says.

“We think people will initially use Teddy for that shop-between-the-shop, when they need a top-up of just about anything. Our range should have everything you need.”

Teddy has already partnered with some big brand names such as Anchor and Coca Cola, as well as smaller local brands like Duck Island Ice Cream, The Collective and AF Drinks.

The trio, who come from corporate backgrounds and have worked for the likes of Sky and Vodafone, came up with the idea of Teddy in the aftermath of the COVID-19 lockdowns.

“Being locked down at home further perpetuated a desire for convenience,” Chaz says. “Now that the lockdowns are over, that desire hasn’t gone away. It’s become the new normal.”

Like all businesses, customer satisfaction is important to Teddy’s founders – but just as important is staff buy-in, Chaz says.

“Our team are really the heroes of Teddy. Everyone who works for Teddy is a staff member, not a contractor, and they can participate in our staff ownership scheme. We want to make sure that our staff are invested in the outcomes and share in its growth.”

The trio were new to fundraising when they began Teddy. They tapped into their network of family and friends, then brought on investors such as K1W1. They’ve also received assistance from the likes of Icehouse Ventures, Blackbird VC, Snowball Effect and Startup Queenstown Lakes.

Ricki says there are two qualities that all entrepreneurs must have: problem-solving ability and tenacity.

The concept behind Teddy is simple. Customers download the app, log in or register, choose their grocery items, pay $8.99 and have the groceries delivered to their door within 30 minutes.

“As an entrepreneur, you’re always having to solve problems, and often they’re problems that haven’t been solved before. That’s where the tenacity comes in – because things will happen, things will break, you won’t always get it right first time with customers. You need to be able to deal with the highs and lows, as they come thick and fast.”

Chaz says that you have to believe in yourself and your business to make it work.

“Growing is in our DNA. We have an unrelenting will to compete and a belief that we have the skills to adapt when needed. That belief is important. Grocery shopping is something people do all the time, so it’s up to us to establish our brand and make sure our range is tight.

“But it’s also important for founders to learn to separate themselves from their business. It’s hard not to take things personally, but you can’t let your business define who you are as a person,” Chaz says.

“For us, it helps that there’s the three of us and we are building an amazingly competent team – this would be a lonely exercise if you were doing it on your own.”

Chaz says the trio hope to inspire other would-be entrepreneurs to follow their dreams.

“We are just simple, down to earth Māori boys from some challenged backgrounds – no different to anybody else. So if it’s possible for us to have a crack, it’s possible for anyone.”

Story by Anne-Marie Emerson In partnership with Startup Queenstown Lakes

Innovation Nation is an annual series celebrating stories of innovation and diversity in entrepreneurship from around New Zealand.

Innovation Nation proudly supported by:

Supporter Spotlight: Offers and services from NZ Entrepreneur supporters!


Rewild’s F-Bomb is modernising predator control to make trapping safer and easier in the bush


Sprout Agritech is supporting Agtech & Foodtech startups to develop locally and send globally

You might also like...