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HomeNewsCommercial Diver Launches Local Delivery Service After Pandemic Forced A Career Change

Commercial Diver Launches Local Delivery Service After Pandemic Forced A Career Change

KAWARTHA LAKES –After the pandemic forced Tom Spence to leave his job in the Arabian Sea as a commercial diver, life served him a new opportunity that has impacted the Bobcaygeon community.

After studying on the East Coast, Spence spent eight years diving around the world, mostly in Canada, eventually making his way to India with a company based out of Singapore.

A vessel Spence boarded as a Commercial Diver near the Port of Mumbai
Courtesy – Tom Spence

But once the pandemic touched down, unsure of what the future would hold, Spence hung up his flippers and decided to launch Kawartha Delivers, a much-needed food delivery service, serving Bobcaygeon and beyond.

“I really loved diving, it was a blast but this is great too and getting the community involved is always a good time,” he said.

Kawartha Delivers has been a business plan and a passion for Spence for quite some time, so when one career came to a halt, he dove into a new venture, spending his life savings and over three months developing his app, Kawartha Delivers, for his new business.

Now, when hunger strikes in the Kawartha Lakes, delivery options have expanded from pizza or…. pizza. Spence and his team can deliver endless options to satisfy any craving, any time.

“I saw there was a definite need for this type of business in this area,” said Spence.

Kawartha Delivers has partnered with a wide range of restaurants as well as the Beer and Liquor Store. The company boasts its own app that can be downloaded for free. The app features every menu available and makes the process of ordering quick and simple.

“I believe the app is the only way to go, it’s the future,” said Spence.

For repeat customer, Michelle Roitz of Bobcaygeon, Spence, his team and the Kawartha Delivers app has been a game-changer for her family.

‘He’s a great young man and I think he opened in a perfect storm. I think he will do really well. I order food and it’s so convenient, until now, we only got pizza,” she said. “He’s got a fairly good coverage area, he does curbside and we wave, and it’s all paid for through the app, it’s just so easy now. He delivers to my office too, the app knows where my office is and my home, bingo and it arrives.”

Roitz has been blown away by the app and how smoothly the business runs. With menus, payment and locations all done in the app, the process is seamless.

“I don’t know how he did it but it’s pretty great, I’m happy for him, we’ve never had a service like this around here, I am so impressed by the app,” she said. “I just think the app is so cool, you don’t have to go to the restaurants website, all the menus are on this thing.  He has created a perfect storm.”

Kawartha Delivers is based out of Bobcaygeon and they have a 55-kilometre radius, one way from each restaurant and Spence is hopeful that the business will greatly expand into other parts of the City of Kawartha Lakes.

And shortly after launching the business, Spence and his team paired up with local restaurants, eggsmart, Daylight Diner, Graz and Che Figata, to help the community by delivering free, delicious meals to front-line workers during the pandemic.

“We all came together, I said I’ll do the deliveries, they didn’t want money for it (the meals), they all went above and beyond,” said Spence.

Over approximately two weeks, the joint initiative delivered about 85 meals to front line workers at local long-term care and retirement homes.

“These people have really been taking the blunt end of this pandemic, we are all suffering, but these guys have had a real rough go,” he added. “It’s nice to be able to do stuff like that. Our partners jumped at the idea.”

According to Roberto Mangoni, Owner of Che Figata in Bobcaygeon, joining forces with Kawartha Delivers has been a positive experience. Che Figata was also one of the local restaurants that took part in offering free meals to front line workers. For Mangoni, he was ecstatic to be part of the initiative and to work with Spence.

“Tom is a fantastic gentleman, professional, well-spoken and he stands behind his company, he’s young and ambitious and you hear that in his voice,” he said. “He wants to make it work, he’s the right man for that position.”

Mangoni noted that he has personally used Kawartha Delivers and notes how much the service was needed in Kawartha Lakes.

“Kawarthas need an online delivery service, this is fantastic for the community and the cost is minimal to get it delivered,” he added.

When the opportunity arose to amalgamate efforts in hopes of helping the local front-line workers, Mangoni didn’t hesitate and offered countless, fresh pizzas for the cause.

And he would do it all over again if he gets the chance.

“It’s amazing, I’ll do it once a week if somebody needed it, everybody needs it, especially in these times, if they need help and as long as it goes back into our community,” he said. “I believe if you invest in your community, it’ll come back.”

Kawartha Delivers employs close to ten drivers and is currently partnered with about eight different restaurants. The app, Kawartha Delivers can be downloaded for free at the app store and they can also be found at Kawarthadelivers.com.

“I think it has been a positive impact, we have some really nice people working with us and the restaurants are amazing,” said Spence. “The drivers that I have been lucky to get on board are top-notch, we get to get out into the community, contributing and staying safe.”

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Jennifer Walker
Jennifer decided to study journalism after having a life long passion for writing. She began her career as a reporter for the Uxbridge Times Journal and moved on to freelance work for various publications after her and her husband welcomed their daughters. She has been published in various Durham Region newspapers, the Durham Parent Magazine as well as Equine Wellness. Jennifer continues to follow her dreams as a wife, mother and journalist and is so excited to join the team at Kawartha411.

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