0 07/08/2013 reviews Family, Food, Travel

Family Travel: Food Stresses

We’re thankful that our kids enjoy food as much as we do. I call them foodie kids as they are some of the most daring eaters for their age groups. Seriously. They will take fresh octopus salad over a chicken nuggets any day. But I remember when they were really young. We have always travelled and I can recall those days of worrying about what the kids would eat and need while on vacation. Sometimes local foods may not have agreed with their developing bellies. My older one would, and could, devour everything put in front of him. I’ll never forget the time we were at a restaurant and he ordered frog legs. And ate them. He was 6 years old at the time. But I know not all kids are as adventurous and sometimes we don’t necessarily always want them to be. Hey, I’ve had severe food poisoning before so, trust me, it’s not worth the bragging rights.

See...frogs legs! What did I tell ya? I'll never forget kid eating this!  Photo credit: Sonya D See...frogs legs! What did I tell ya? I'll never forget kid eating this!
Photo credit: Sonya D

But aside from being foodies, I can recall even what should have been an easy trip to Florida once. My youngest was 8 months old and the older one was 5. The 8 month old was into baby foods and gumming soft foods. You know, at this stage, it’s probably the most difficult time to figure out what to eat and where. So, at this stage we opted for a stay in a condo like setting. It was the perfect solution for us. Some meals could be prepared in our suite to make life easier. The stress was making sure we got to the grocery store on time.

True story, on this trip our luggage was lost in transit. Plus we weren’t allowed to pack baby food jars or liquids on the plane at that time.  I had everything mapped out in my mind. We would land…I would unpack the immediate couple of jars of food and formula. We would head straight for the nearest grocery store to get everything we needed including diapers, baby food, snacks and the essentials like milk, bread, butter, eggs, fruit, beer  and Tabasco sauce.

Photo credit: Sonya D Photo credit: Sonya D

It’s different when you travel with kids — especially little ones. You know what I mean?

I had recently been introduced to Sherry and Ash Barmania, Canadians who have come to the rescue of travelling families. They’ve recently introduced FoodStore2Go, a new grocery delivery service that is currently running in Bahamas and Orlando. And I thought, this may be of interest to you..and I had only wished it was available to me a few years ago when I really needed it!

“When we lived in Toronto, as a family we used Grocery Gateway delivery service – we worked a lot of hours, had a small child and long stairs to our house,” says Sherry.  ”We loved the convenience of getting our groceries delivered right to our kitchen before we left for work in the morning.  At the time we had a family vacation home in The Bahamas and had frequent four day getaways. We thought that it would make sense to have a similar service while vacationing – especially if you’re travelling with children.  Any time we travel, we pick up at least a few groceries for the room or much more if we’re staying at a rental property or one with a full kitchen.  It seemed to make sense to us that having the groceries in our apartment when we arrived would save us valuable vacation time.”
FoodStore2Go delivers to all hotels in the Bahamas and Orlando as well as yachts, vacation rental homes, time shares and resorts every day (except Christmas and New Years). Guests go online and let indicate where they are staying (properties are listed) and select the items they want delivered. There is a $9 delivery charge per order (cheaper than a cab ride!). They have a great relationship with the hotel and property managers as they see the services as a way to make their guests feel at ease and enhance their vacation experience. In fact, the ever popular Atlantis Resort not only allows the service on their property but promotes it their hotel concierge services. Although they have their own shuttle service to the nearest grocery store it’s often crowded on the bus and shaves off precious time that should be spent enjoying the resort!
They can even accommodate special dietary needs – Kosher, Gluten Free, dairy and egg free, nut free, vegan…their drivers hand pick items on the day of the delivery and visitors can make these special requests. They do their best to seek out the items. When the needs are extremely sensitive, they will work out the needs carefully.
“The best compliment we’ve ever received came from a visitor who had small children with special dietary needs,” says Sherry. “We worked with her on the phone and by email to develop a list suitable prior to her arrival.  Upon delivery, our driver explained all the items and then opened a bottle of wine ordered by the weary visitors.  Later that week, she sent us pictures of her and her family at the Atlantis resort enjoying their vacation.  To me, that meant that we played such an important role in the success of her family’s vacation – FoodStore2Go was one small part of their whole experience – they had beaches, water parks, sun and sea, excellent shows, kids clubs and beautiful accommodations.  But they took the time to include us as part of the best of their holiday.  And that was great – they were all smiling!”
What are their top selling items and any interesting requests? 
FoodStore2Go gets lots of requests and we’re happy do our best to get people what they need on vacation. Last year in Bahamas alone we delivered over 12,000 bananas!  Top sellers in both locations include cases of bottled water, diet coke and limes. We also rent baby equipment such as pack n plays, high chairs, car seats, exersaucers, baby baths, strollers, jogging strollers and baby swings.  Our most interesting request was for a yacht last year.  Listed on a $30K grocery order for groceries was “4 tins of Iranian Beluga Caviar” valued at $7000 each and prohibited for sale in most parts of the world.  We sourced it, but when we realized it could be confiscated by customs on route to Bahamas, we declined the item.  (The rest of the order was delivered without incident.)

FoodStore2Go FoodStore2Go

And how about the staffing? 

We hire young, energetic, well trained and educated staff.  Following our Canadian roots,  we don’t discriminate based on creed, color or sexual orientation, and we pay well above average wages so that FoodStore2Go is a company that people want to work for.  Another interesting point is that we don’t let our staff know if they have been tipped online for deliveries, or if they will be tipped at the door, or not tipped at all.  They have been trained to do their best regardless of weather they get a tip or not.  These are just a few of the things FoodStore2Go is doing its part to be a corporate leader in an emerging market.
FoodStore2Go also gives back to the community. In Bahamas, users can top up their grocery order with a food or cash donation to Hands for Hunger – a community service group that distributes food to needy agencies. In 2013, they raised over $1500.
They are currently set up to deliver to all the islands of the Bahamas and the greater Orlando area. FoodStore2Go is planning to also open up locations in other destinations including Turks & Caicos and Cayman Islands for the beginning of next year. Ten more island destinations are scheduled for the next few years. For more information visit foodstore2go.com 
Are you ever stressed about food when vacationing with young children?
This post was not sponsored, nor was I compensated. 

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