Meet BlueCart

Ah, BlueCart. BlueCart + Pelonkey. A friendship lovechild of the magical fairyland that is SXSW via Nicole & Andrew’s chance meeting. Two chatty folks who, well, chatted until they were the best of startup friends. They realized there are a lot of ways we could cross-market, and so this blog feature was born. Ok, some other stuff happened in there, too, because both companies are mega-busy, but you get the idea.

BlueCart & Pelonkey swapped Q’s, and below are one half of the A’s. A cool group of people with a cool mission. I’ll let them tell you what they do.vendor2.0What is BlueCart?

BlueCart is a communication platform for the hospitality industry. Our app streamlines the ordering process between restaurants and their suppliers so that a restaurant can place orders to all their different vendors (produce, meat, alcohol, seafood, linens, etc.) in just one click. Suppliers then get those orders automatically organized on the other side, and everyone sees the whole thing go down in real time. It’s a huge leap forward from managing orders via text messages, emails, and phone calls, and best of all, it’s free.

How long have you been around?

BlueCart first launched in July 2014.

How big is your team?

We’re 27 stunning colleagues strong.

Team

Who can benefit from signing up with you?

Really anyone who handles orders in the hospitality industry and has access to a computer or smartphone can use BlueCart. That’s the beautiful thing about the app, it’s incredibly simple and easy to get the hang of. Anyone from huge restaurant groups in NYC to a small farmer in Kansas can use BlueCart to simplify their ordering. We believe that everyone in this industry, no matter how big or small, should have access to technology that makes their lives easier by making their business run more smoothly. [Us, too!]

What makes you unique?

Hmm. There are many things that make us unique. One of the ways we’re unique is our approach to customer service. Literally everyone is a customer service rep at BlueCart. We make quarterly calls to all our clients to gain feedback and see if we can help with any problems. We’re still young and agile enough that we can make changes to the app based on the feedback we get. Everyone makes those calls, too, from our CEO to our interns. [Hearing from an actual person makes a big difference. Especially when that person is the CEO? Talk about quality assurance.]

If we were to walk in to the BlueCart HQ/office what are the first three things we would notice?

Hmm, that’s a great question. If you would have asked me a month ago, I would have said the ping pong table. But that’s a little cliché for a startup, and honestly we had to get rid of ours anyway because we are growing so quickly. So, to answer your question, one of the first things you would see is the coatrack where a fake wolf’s head sits on top of a hoodie that hasn’t left since Christian wore it for Halloween. After the big bad wolf, you would most likely see a portrait of Chester (a photo of a squirrel dressed up in a turtleneck), which for no reason at all is on our award shelf – and next to that, either because of or in spite of Chester, depending on your perspective, is our award for coolest DC company. [Definitely because of. Can we get a copy?]

Where are you located?

We started in D.C., and now have permanent offices in San Francisco and NYC, with staff in Austin.

What events do you have coming up?

We’re actually hosting an event on menu engineering and how to get the most profits out of your menu in early June. We have the master of menu design, Gregg Rapp, coming to share his tips on crafting a menu. He’s worked with some high-level, diverse clients like IHOP and the Kennedy Center. So, if you know anyone in the bay area that might be interested, let them know. It’s on June 6th and you can get tickets here. [It’s not too late!]

How can BlueCart help the events industry?

BlueCart can help in two ways. First, with logistics. BlueCart allows hotels hosting an event to order all their supplies including linens, silverware, and food all in one place. It’s kind of a one stop shop, but for ordering. Second, we can recommend some fantastic entertainment folks, like Pelonkey…

Food suppliers, food buyers, go check ’em out! With an easy-to-use interface and FREE access, why wouldn’t you want to take a gander?

We heart you, BlueCart.

 

SXSW 2016 Recap

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This morning we woke up, looked at the rain outside our window, and thought, We need something exciting to counter this dreary day. And then BAM! it hit us – we never recapped our 2016 SXSW trip! And now the sun is peeking out from behind the clouds, ready to join us in our happy nostalgia of getting weird for another year in Austin, TX.

Partnering with our faves at EventsDC and WeDC, we had Rex Riot, Mathias., JC Flores, & DJ Neekola perform at various times throughout the entire weekend-long event. The DJs provided dance music during the day while attendees mingled at the WeDC house, as well as a little at night. In fact, Rex Riot helped warm up the crowd for QuestLove at the crazay closing party. We had a big presence, wearing our Pelonkey tees all over Austin.

 

In addition to that, our CEO, Nicole, was able to pitch to a ton of tech people at the WeDC house at their Tech Breakfast, which included 1776‘s very own Evan Burfield. And (yes, there’s more!) Nicole participated in the WeDC startup showcase along with other DC innovators, such as our new friends at BlueCart, to spread the good Pelonkey word to other SXSW attendees. At the showcase, we had a booth for one day where visitors could come by, ask questions, and generally be wowed by all things Pelonkey. It was a hit, and we were able to talk to so many new people!

Let’s see… what else? We saw Chromeo perform (can we just get them on our platform already & be BFFs??), met the COO of TechWeek at the TechWeek party, mingled some more, party-hopped, explored the city, met DC mayor, Muriel Bowser, were featured on Buzzfeed’s SXSW promo, saw some Events DC friends – Ashley & Greg – and hung out and rocked the WeDC house from Saturday-Monday.

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A huge, gigantic shoutout to Julie, Damelia, and Tiffany for being awesome, as always, and running the WeDC show like the #bosses they are! Wow, the WeDC has made a baller name for itself at SXSW; it’s always the party and place to be! We are so proud to call them Pelonkey supporters and friends. D’awww, DC love, y’all!

We like to think of ourselves as seasoned pros now that we’ve been to SXSW twice…and really it’s just a matter of time before people are partying it up at the PelonkHouse with some kickass DJs, performers, and peeps. 2017, here we come! #DoYouPelonkey

Pelonkey at 2015 SXSW Interactive

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Austin, is it time to come back yet?

It was just a couple months ago that our CEO Nicole and social media intern Danielle hit the road in their swanky Chevy Volt, courtesy of Buick and Digital DC, and headed to Austin, TX to exhibit Pelonkey at SXSW Interactive. 22 hours of driving led them through Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis, Little Rock, and parts of Texas where they met local talent, checked out the entertainment scene (or at least what they could see of it during their hour-long rest stops), and spoke to a few performers about their life on the stage.

Once in Austin, Nicole and Danielle hit networking events, parties after parties, and conferences meeting local and remote companies and representatives, their only goal to make sure that everyone knew the name Pelonkey by the time they left. Arriving with a fairly open game plan, the two also spent time in the convention center and on the city streets checking out talented performers (and not only musicians!) that make Austin the live music capital of the country.

The highlight, for sure, was taking part in the Monday night WeDC House event, which was the place to be. Pelonkey was the most sought-after table inside, passing out swag left and right, and DJ Neekola made an appearance outside, spinning between live acts as the evening’s host. A surprise visit and shout out from DJ Kool sealed the deal as the best night of SXSW! No doubt about it, Pelonkey will definitely be back next year.

Throughout all of SXSW and the journey traveling to Austin from DC, Nicole and Danielle had their GoPro turned on, gathering footage of daily events, parties, and interviews with local entertainment.

Below, check out our little photo diary of Pelonkey’s trip to SXSW 2015!

 

We started our drive bright and early on Saturday morning, March 14. Taking a car down to Austin instead of a plane allowed us the freedom to stop whenever and wherever we wanted to explore. We were out to discover any kind of local talent we could. After conducting some research and outreach at home before the trip, it turned out that hitting the streets yielded the best results. On Day 1, from Knoxville to Nashville to Memphis, the Pelonkey duo was uncovering talent and native flair around every corner. And also eating some crazy good southern BBQ while enjoying the sites!

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On the second and last exhausting and exhilarating day of the road trip (you try squeezing 22 hours of driving into two days without wanting to stop, drop, and nap), we were anxious to finally arrive in Austin. We took a pit stop in Little Rock and then flew straight on to Texas, where we only stopped for more BBQ (never enough) and finally arrived in the heart of downtown Austin. Our first party (and main event!) that evening was with Tech Cocktail at Maggie Mae’s. From there, we wandered the city streets, hopped to more bars and parties, made new friends, and soaked up as much of Austin as we could until 3am, running on fumes from little sleep.

        

Continuing with the motto “sleep is for the weak”, we were up and at ’em Monday morning preparing for a long day in Austin. The first half of the day was spent party-hopping, chatting up new people, plotting and planning the Pelonkey launch, and sniffing out free food & drink. Finally, after a focus meeting, it was time to get ready for the We DC House event, where DJ Neekola donned her pink ‘do to hit the decks and Danielle worked the Pelonkey table inside. We DC has been a great supporter of Pelonkey, and partnering with them for their SXSW event was just one of many collaborations to come. Thank you guys so much for helping to bring us to Austin and for putting on such a great party! You guys rock!

                        

The highlight of the night was when Neekola was blasting “Let Me Clear My Throat”, and DJ Kool himself walked over to say “Hey, that’s my song!” He grabbed the mic and gave Neekola and Pelonkey a shout-out, essentially rocking both the party and our world.

The last few days of SXSW, Nicole and Danielle did more of what they came to do: network. Beautiful Austin weather followed them everywhere, and introductions were made to individuals and companies from all across the country.

We are so grateful we were able to go to SXSW 2015, and we can’t stress enough how much we learned and how many great contacts we made. Pelonkey is close to launching, and the excitement we felt in Austin surrounding our venture and the tech culture in general was infectious! Thanks to everyone who helped get us to Austin, and we can’t wait to come back!