The idea is simple: a full range of market groceries delivered to your door. In chaotic, congested Phnom Penh, it’s amazing nobody had offered the service before, said tattooed French national Julien Nguyen, 35, the founder of DeliMarket.asia.
Nguyen, who relocated to Cambodia last year after running a company for 10 years in Paris that organised parties, said his business idea came after seeing Phnom Penh’s traffic jams.
He had heard about grocery delivery services in Thailand and Vietnam and said: “Why not Cambodia?”
Online food ordering here is nothing new in the capital. Websites like Yourphnompenh.com, MealTemple.com and Door2Door all do it. But those sites focus on restaurant deliveries. Others have provided vegetables.
DeliMarket.asia does groceries – veggies, fruits, kitchen supplies, dairy and, of course, meat.
Nguyen sources his products from a mix of established and small, speciality suppliers: all of the meat comes from Le Terroir, the fruits and veggies from Natural Gardens and the wine from The Warehouse.
With plenty of imported brands on hand – Betty Crocker, Lays, Pepperidge Farms, Barilla – it’s clear Nguyen’s selection is targeted at Western palates.
The website is clean but basic, with products organised into clear-cut categories ranging from “Savory Deli” to “Happy Pets”. There are subcategories too – “Happy Pets” expanded into “Dogs”, “Cats” and, mysteriously, “The Others.”
There was even a “Sexy Corner” under “Beauty Care” with a selection of Durex condoms ($1.20-$2).
The product selection is reasonable and the prices on a par with Aeon Mall.
The “Butcher Corner” has solid bang for your buck, with high-quality meat priced the same as at Le Terroir. Some dead animal options included raw ham ($4 per 100g), beef tenderloin ($9.50 per 500g) and delicious sliced smoked bacon ($1.60 per 100g).
The “Daily Market” has veggies, fruits, dairy products and eggs.
But for drinkers, the selection is not mind-blowing. Beyond the ubiquitous Asian lagers, craft beer aficionados can satisfy cravings with only a small selection of Belgian speciality brews.
The site has some other drawbacks: for some products, there are no descriptions and the photos were sometimes too blurry to make out text on the packaging – it would have been nice to know if the coffee beans were whole or ground, for instance.
And those who live out by the airport are out of luck: the service does not extend to the outer reaches of the capital.
But overall, DeliMarket.asia is an easy-to-use and convenient service.
During a test run this week, making a profile was easy, as was ordering.
The friendly delivery man arrived on the dot with every item requested. You can choose what time he comes, though there is an 18-hour minimum wait, as well as a $40 minimum order.
It’s certainly easier than a bumpy tuk-tuk ride to the shops.