For $29.99 an hour, the owners of Errand Bunnies say they will simplify your life.
Lifelong pals since fifth grade at Jerry Thomas Elementary School, Eugenia Gonzalez and Lexi Stuart opened their Jupiter service business on July 17.
The co-owners do everything from their bright pink Chevrolet Sparks — answer the phone, water plants, food shop, pick up medicine, shop for clothes, collect mail, deliver documents for law firms, water lawns, walk dogs.
“Nobody has time to do anything anymore. We save them valuable time,” said Gonzalez, 20, who like Stuart, 21, lives with her parents in Jupiter. Both are 2014 graduates of Jupiter High School.
Errand Bunnies — “We hop so you don’t have to” is their slogan — started in the garage of Stuart’s parents. The two women had been attending Palm Beach State College, but left to start their own business.
The motivation was Stuart’s grandmother. Home bound, she needs help with day-to-day activities.
“There are lots of people like my grandmother who need assistance,” Stuart said.
The two pitched the concept to Stuart’s father Jim, who agreed to finance the operation. Jim Stuart is president of API, a Jupiter-based company that makes and supplies pool and spa equipment.
They bought two vehicles and wrapped them in bright pink with white lettering. They trademarked the name of the business, bought signs and business cards and paid a company to build their website.
“Jupiter is a strong market for a business like this.” Jim Stuart said. “The overhead is low — phones and gas. Plus, I believe in my daughter.”
Safety is a concern. That’s why the two women only take jobs during regular business hours. They do not stay overnight to take care of pets or houses and won’t transport people.
“We stay in constant phone and text contact with our parents,” Gonzalez said. “We are careful who we do business with. We have good instincts.”
But running a business isn’t easy, they learned.
“A Realtor hired us to plant about 250 flags in the ground in Jupiter Farms. She wanted to mark houses she was selling. It was a super hot day. It rained. It took us about three hours,” Gonzalez said, as the two rolled their eyes at the memory.
Errand Bunnies charges $29.99 per hour. If a job takes 20 minutes or less, it’s $10. Seniors get a 15 percent discount and students 10 percent.
Food shopping is about 75 percent of their business. They take the customer’s order, buy the food and deliver it to the customer, who pays them the cost along with the hourly fee.
Customers are finicky, they quickly learned. They make sure the lists are specific.
“We ask: How do you like your tomatoes?” said Stuart.
Promotion is big, they say.
They visit medical, legal, real estate and other offices to boost Errand Bunnies. They hand out white coffee mugs — embossed with their name and slogan — filled with candy and business cards. And their two pink Errand Bunnies vehicles are moving billboards as they roll through Jupiter.
“A security guard from Frenchman’s Creek stopped me one day,” Lexi Stuart recalled. “He brought me inside the gate. He introduced me to the head of the homeowner’s association. We met with him and have gotten some business.”
Future plans include adding staff and expansion to Stuart, Hobe Sound, Palm Beach Gardens and West Palm Beach. Franchising is on the horizon, the co-owners agreed.
“We don’t want to expand until we own Jupiter. People just don’t know they need us yet,” Gonzalez said.
Errand Bunnies services
General: $29.99 per hour or 20 minutes or less for $9.99 (grocery shopping, convenience store runs, pharmacy, gift shopping/wrapping, department stores, bank deposits, mail or packages, laundry or dry cleaning drop off)
Pet sitting: $14.99 for 15 minutes (dog walking, feeding, changing litter box, veterinarian visits)
House sitting: $9.99 for 10 minutes
To go food: $9.99 for pickup