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AZ Tech Beat | June 29, 2017

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Deeskus, African, Caribbean & Latin grocery delivery service, expands to Phoenix

Deeskus, African, Caribbean & Latin grocery delivery service, expands to Phoenix
Tishin Donkersley

If you want to make rolled fufu, yam porridge or Carribean chicken wings you don’t have to travel all around the state to pick up various cultural food items. Virginia-based Deeskus, a grocery delivery service for African, Caribbean & Latin American foods has expanded to Phoenix.

COO Deeskus Mabel Imala said they started the company because their founder Adeniyi Olutayo often traveled back and forth from the US to Nigeria and his family kept asking him to bring back African ingredients. While researching the niche food market, they discovered that small brick and mortar stores were limited to servicing their local community and didn’t have the means or technical knowledge to reach more customers online and capture sales, Imala said.

deeskus

Deeskus, a subsidiary of Nutlan, is based on an Instacart model by providing an online marketplace and partnering with local stores around the country to fulfill orders and keep shipping costs down.

The company has recently expanded services to Phoenix and supporting local businesses to fulfill customer orders. Imala said they are currently looking to add more partners in the state. She did not reveal which Arizona businesses they work with due to their company privacy policies.

In response to the booming on-demand grocery delivery market and larger companies in the space, such as Instacart or Amazon Fresh, Imala said they aren’t focused on competing with them, “we have that cultural niche and target audience already. People would come to us for a special reason, a nostalgic reason, and those who want to recreate a meal.”

For those interested in cooking African, Caribbean or Latin food, Deeskus is adding recipes, insight to food preparation based on tribal affiliation, and more, on their site.

“We need to grow our business by letting people know what to do with our products, what are they used for and encourage people to complete the whole cycle,” Imala said.

Imala said the company looks to provide same day service in more locations and are currently piloting this service in Washington D.C.

As a female CEO, who is building a business and wearing many hats, Imala said, “This journey has been interesting. It started with an idea and we ran with it and we are here now. We took that first step. I wear different hats. I’m CEO for Nultan and I wear the hat of COO for Deeskus. Wearing all those hats has not been easy, but with my determination and fighting spirit I’ve been able to get far, and there is so much more we can achieve.”

For more coverage about companies expanding to Arizona, click here.