Anyone who lives in a non-doorman building knows how difficult it can be to get packages delivered.
Whether it's dealing with the postal service's "sorry we missed you" notes taped to your front door or packages mysteriously disappearing, New Yorkers are often left asking friends, relatives and co-workers if they can have packages delivered to their doors instead.
But Jesse Kaplan, CEO of Parcel, has found a solution. Parcel is a delivery service that allows New Yorkers in Manhattan and now Brooklyn to send packages to its warehouse.
Users put the Brooklyn warehouse's address in the "ship to" box, with their unique user number as the second address line, and then can ask Parcel to deliver their package, or packages, to their door in a one-hour evening window for $5 per delivery.
Kaplan, 23, is now a two-time entrepreneur, having founded a lucrative coffee shop, Cabot Café, near Harvard University in Massachusetts.
After college he moved to New York and was immediately faced with New York's package delivery debacle.
"I couldn't believe how hard it was to get packages. I would come home every day to missed-package listings, and I spent every weekend waiting on post office lines," he said. "It induced nightmares."
Kaplan originally launched Parcel in beta last year, and in the meantime raised $1,000,000 from grants and investors.
He launched Parcel officially in Manhattan on Sept. 29 and in Brooklyn on Nov. 20.
He delivered its first package himself on Halloween using a MetroCard and a canvas Ikea bag.
He now has five full-time employees, a part-time operations staff of eight people and a fleet of Parcel delivery vans to deliver the packages.
"People get three to four deliveries every single week," Kaplan said. "We've become integrated in their online shopping experience."