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.

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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.

 

Prequel aka “Pretty Cool”…see what I did there?

Last week Prequel DC had their launch party c/o RJ Whyte Event Production, and let me be (definitely not the first and absolutely not the last) one to say Holy Guacamole, Batman! That place looked awesome-sauce.

Three floors, each with a different theme and decor, scattered with 11, yes 11, talented entertainers from our site.

I’ll let the photos do the talking (a picture says a thousand words, after all), but before we even get to the magnificent visuals, let’s chat about the man who took them: Alexander Morozov. He also took our launch party photos, and he always captures the magic of the event! He manages to get the best expressions, candid conversations, and elegant setups.

Check out Alexander’s full album here.

A big thanks to all the entertainers who helped make the Prequel Launch shine!

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Anna Pineapple – Human Statue | Second Floor

Jessie Campbell – Makeup Artist (she brought a lipstick bar!) | First Floor

DJ Wizdom | Second Floor

Rajan – Live Artist (he painted the huge canvas in under two hours!) | Second Floor

DJ Alkimist | Fourth Floor

DJ Civil | Second Floor, Roaming

DJ Sean J | First Floor

DJ Foster | Second & Fourth Floor, Roaming

Alexander Morozov – Photographer | Roaming

DJ Neekola | First Floor

Max Major – Mentalist | Roaming

Show these peeps some love, and book them for your next event! They can all be found on Pelonkey.com along with a slew of other serious talented groups and individuals.

We’re proud Mama Bears over here, always wanting to show off our Pelonkey users…can you blame us?

A good joke is priceless, so luckily Free DC Comedy Week is here!

The first time we met Wayne Manigo (co-founder of the Washington DC Comedy Writers Group with Mandy Dalton) was at the WeDC pre-SXSW party back in February. Our table was all kinds of flashy (duh), Wayne walked over, stuck out his hand, and said, “Alright then, tell me about Pelonkey!” And the rest is comedic history. Wayne is a high-energy, joke-cracking, people-meeting PelonKing. We’ve always been impressed with his enthusiasm, and now we are be impressed with his community involvement. Enter the Free DC Comedy Festival (#FDCCF)!

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The concept for #FDCCF is based on a number of Wayne’s previously successful designs and projects with the primary goal of informing the public of free comedy shows in the area. Most people know about the Improv, and the Arlington Draft House. And that’s where their knowledge ends. But there are more awesome venues and shows out there! You gotta catch ’em all…

#FDCCF’s secondary goal is to help comedians gain more exposure. Hilarious but unknown comedians are no good to us as we cannot laugh at their jokes if we do not hear them. Hosting a festival such as this one will provide those superstars with the opportunity to display their talent to a variety of audiences.

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The Festival is taking place all this week, November 16-21. All the details can be found on their Facebook page.

The schedule of events looks a little something like this:

Monday 11/16, 8pm – Jackpot Comedy Show
Monday, 11/16, 8:30pm – WDCCWG Comedy Writing Session @ Judy’s Bar and Restaurant
Monday, 11/16, 8:30pm – Pretty Funny Entertainment @ Recessions

Tuesday, 11/17, 8:30pm – Bottom Shelf Comedy Show @ Black Whiskey

Wednesday, 11/18, 6pm – WALA Trademark Workshop @ FHFG&D
Wednesday, 11/18, 8:30pm – The DC Writers Group Semi-Pro Show @ Duffy’s Irish Pub (Pelonkey will be there!)

Thursday, 11/19, 8:30pm – The Looking Glass Comedy Showcase (Pelonkey will be there!)

Friday, 11/20, 8pm – Jokes @ Judy’s Bar and Restaurant
Friday, 11/20, 8pm – Smokin’ Hot Comedy & Smoke BBQ

All of these events are – as the title suggests – FREE, so you should all go and check out some funny people saying funny things! And find our man Wayne and tell him nice things, laugh at his jokes, etc.; unless you find him at his roast, then feel free to roast him. But before you do, you should probably know some of Wayne’s background.

Wayne (with Mandy) is currently celebrating the Washington DC Comedy Writers Group fifth anniversary. “We started with five members at Duffy’s Irish Pub, and now we’re past 1,700 people” Wayne said. “We found it odd how there wasn’t a group in the DC area with a dedicated focus to comedy writing. So….we decided to create one!”

Developing a comedy community has always been important to Wayne. Prior to the DC Comedy Writers Group, he held two comedy conferences focused on helping comedians develop a career in the entertainment industry. He also created the annual “Comic Sunday Funday,” a networking event where people can learn more about the comedy resources available in the D.C. area. He attributes a huge part of his comedy education to the years he was employed at the (now-defunct) Riot Act Comedy Theater. “I received comedy advice and coaching from some of the best comedians on earth!” he said.

Wayne continues to provide suggestions to comedians with his “Addicted To Comedy” column for Stage Time Magazine.
He’s been on an Ellen Degeneres segment during Mardi Gras this year.
He is a former writer for On Tap Magazine.
As a chef he organized a cooking club that ran for three years.
An event he organized, “Quiet Party,”  was featured in the Style section of the Washington Post.

And now he brings you the Free DC Comedy Festival. Enjoy, folks!

MES: Most Extraordinary Stars? Or…

MES: Many Excellent Successes. MES: Master Entrepreneur Supporters. (<– Hey, that was actually a pretty good one.)

MES: Metro Event Specialists, aka our homedawgs. Our peeps. A real swell group of hardworking event tycoons.

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We have introduced you to lots of heavy hitters in the events world (shoutout to our ab-FAB Pelonkey Launch sponsors!), but there’s one group we want to throw in the spotlight for a hot minute. MES holds a special place in our hearts as our good friends Max Major & Troy Francis are the ones that run it, and our CEO Nicole is on the board. Max & Troy and the rest of the MES gang have a finger on many crucial events that take place in DC, and they have been nice enough to toss us countless tips, tricks, and advice on our path to entertainment marketplace stardom (that’s a thing, right?).

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You’ve already heard a little about them through our MES Mixer coverage (we sponsored all the entertainment at their August mixer at the National Archives), but we want to urge all of you in the events industry to take a closer look. Get involved with them. They are a network of event professionals in the DMV area. They are 100% free (um, yes, really), AND they host super fun events with food and drink and talking and laughing and mixing and photo booths and fun and, well, now I’m just rambling.

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They were well-represented at our launch party, and we wanna throw ’em some love. Some mushy, mushy event lurrvvve. They are such a force in the area, and we are glad to call them partners. Get on their list, and don’t miss their next event! No, don’t miss it. Don’t do it. Don’t make us come over there…

Spotlight on Our Amazing DJ Stylus Chris

We here at Pelonkey love to spotlight some of our original supporters and entertainers, and DJ Stylus Chris has been bomb from the beginning. Also a Pelonkey partner with the Beat Refinery DJ School, Stylus sports both real talent with his art and commitment to making the industry better every day.

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Over the holiday season, Stylus performed for a super fun casino-themed corporate party. Representing Pelonkey well, the client had rave reviews. You da man, Chris, and we can’t wait to collab on some more awesome events with you!

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If you’re interested in having Stylus Chris at your next event, please reach out to ciera@pelonkey.com for more details.

Our DJs really know how to make Heist pop!

Last month, a few of our incredible DC DJs stole the scene at Heist in DuPont!

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As one of Pelonkey‘s partner venues in DC, Heist is one of the most unique nightclubs in the city. It has a fun bank robbery scene (hence the name!) and all gold embellished decor. Including Dirty Hands and Neekola, the music was bumping! One of our other partners, the Beat Refinery, had their main lady DJ Alkimist pop in to party as well! Selfie time!

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All around another amazing night at Heist for their Industry Tuesdays. Catch you there next time!

Pelonkey Board, BAM, & Partners celebratory happy hour!

On Tuesday, our wonderful Pelonkey team celebrated our amazing new tech partnership with a fun come and go happy hour! BAMtech members were able to meet and interact with our amazing Advisory Board, partners, and lawyers.

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The whole team had a blast making friends! Pelonkey’s partners the Beat Refinery DJ school and Heist were there to sip in the celebrations!

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Our amazing CEO DJ Neekola made a toast to a glorious future where Pelonkey will disrupt the beans out of the events and entertainment industry!

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We are beyond thrilled to welcome BAM on to the Pelonkey team, and we can’t wait to make this app a success together!

What we learned in Vegas at Tech Cocktail Celebrate

The Pelonkey Team had an amazing time out in Vegas this past week for Tech Cocktail Celebrate! We easily had the coolest booth at the expo, and Max Major and DJ Neekola tore up the pitch competition, impressing all the attendees, judges, and mentors with their passion and vision for the company.

We learned some very important tips and lessons from the many great speakers and panelists at the conference, including 1776 Co-Founder, Donna Harris! Some of these pointers that we felt were especially applicable for our company, we have shared below.

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1. Make your own path. We do not want to mimic or follow the rules and boundaries set by other companies, whether similar to Pelonkey’s goals or not. Pelonkey plans to completely revolutionize the event and entertainment industry, changing the way entertainers and party planners do biz together – that will take risks and traveling down the unbeaten path, a challenge we are more than excited to face!

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2. Be selective about whom you choose to partner with. The Pelonkey Team has worked very hard to bring our customers only the best in local partnerships for the company. We chose one of the most popular night venues in the city, Heist, to host our awesome entertainer events at; the Beat Refinery DJ school offers discounted classes and sessions to local DJs, who can also test to become Beat Refinery certified; Chuck Levin’s offers discounted equipment specials to Pelonkey musicians; Digital DC is our connect with the local DC government; EventsDC brings Pelonkey all the latest in events around the area as well as an in to the party planner side of things. We are always looking out for the best interests of our Pelonkey peeps!

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3. Know your audience and constantly customize your product to their needs. We want to know all the good stuff as well as what we can improve on here at Pelonkey – please reach out to us with any feedback! This site is for you all, so we want it to be the best experience possible.

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4. Be responsive on social media. Pelonkey’s company values focus our priorities on customer service. If you need something, we try to be as accessible as possible to your request, whether it’s in a tweet, email, FB message, text, you name it!

There are many other awesome tips we received from the pros at the Celebrate Conference, and we wanted to outline these four super important lessons we learned for all of our great supporters and users! Vegas was awesome, and we can’t wait to launch Pelonkey officially in early 2015! For more deets into what we did while at Tech Cocktail Celebrate, check out our previous blog post here.

DJ Neekola and DJ Hi Def shred the decks at Heist!

Modified from Ciera Gallub‘s post on DJNeekola.com 9/17/14

Last Saturday was completely nuts (in an awesome way!) as Pelonkey‘s DJ Neekola and DJ Hi Def spun out some crazy beats at one of DC’s most popular night clubs, Heist, one of Pelonkey’s partner venues!

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DJ Hi Def opened up the night with his heavy house style, adding a kiss of hip hop and modern jams, making the crowd go crazy!

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Around midnight, Neekola rolled in with her pink hair a’blazin’, creating waves with her bass beats!

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The dance floor was full the entire night, with people still partying when the lights turned on. Nobody was ready to go home! Make sure you check out Heist the next time this Pelonkey duo hits the decks – the party doesn’t stop!

Pelonkey Partners & Advisory Board Happy Hour!

On Wednesday, Pelonkey brought together its fabulous partners and Advisory Board members together for a meet and greet group happy hour! One of our great Advisory Board members, Tony Cord with DC Innovates, hosted the happy hour at his beautiful penthouse over in Thomas Circle, with yummy food sponsored by Chix (Eat Responsibly).

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Stylus Chris and DJ Alkimist came out from the Beat Refinery DJ school to meet our awesome Pelonkey Board! The Beat Refinery teaches people how to be an awesome DJ, and they have partnered with Pelonkey because they believe in the mission – this business will disrupt the events and entertainment industry! Performing artists aren’t always the savviest on the business end. Pelonkey provides a secure business platform for the entertainers and puts the power of their contracts back into their own hands. The Beat Refinery is completely on board with that! Another Pelonkey partner, Heist Lounge owner DJ Dirty Hands came out for the celebration! Heist allows Pelonkey to host sponsored events at their venue at no additional fee, with a heavy emphasis on the DJ market for entertainers.

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Other awesome Board members that came out were Victoria Michael with VM Relations, Rich Shea with HiBall Events, Eddie Fam with Meant 2 Live Foundation, and Steve Britt with Leach Travell Britt Law. DJ Neekola gave a quick update to everyone about all the exciting things that have been happening for Pelonkey, including our most recent win at Tech Cocktail in Vegas a couple weeks ago!

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It was an awesome evening, and everyone had a wonderful time getting to know each other and being the DREAM TEAM that they are! Thank you, guys! Pelonkey wouldn’t be what it is today without all of your awesome support!