Beginning Sept. 26 a local food delivery service will be delivering from your favorite local kitchen to your abode. Long-time P&G’s manager Mike Katz has teamed up with childhood buddy from Long Island Eric Cichinsky to launch the New Paltz Delivery Doctor.
“Our inaugural class of restaurants thus far consists of P&G’s, Neko’s Sushi, Lemon Grass Thai, Mexicali Blue, Kosiner Brothers Hot Dog Cart (at Water Street Market) and Curb Side Cuisine,” said Katz. In the background Katz’s 22-month-old son Jackson was playing with a stack of New Paltz Delivery Doctor magnets. “FDR said that there should be a chicken in every pot,” said Katz, “and we say there should be a magnet on every refrigerator.”
Katz and Cichinsky both attended Nassau County Community College, playing in a band together. Eventually, Katz and then Cichinksy transferred to SUNY New Paltz. To make ends meet, they worked in local restaurants, Katz for six years at Mohonk Mountain House and then another six years as manager of P&G’s.
“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here,” said Katz. “There used to be a food delivery service in town called Fast Lane. As college kids we used it all the time. But when they closed in 2007, they left a real void. I kept thinking to myself, if we don’t do this, someone else is going to.”
“But they didn’t do it as well as we’re going to do it,” added Cichinsky. “We know New Paltz, we know the college, the village, the town the neighboring communities. We know the restaurants and the owners and the chefs.”
They will put in orders at various local restaurants they’re partnering with and will deliver to your doorstep in the college or village for a 99-cent charge. “Obviously,” explained Katz, “if we’re going to Highland or Rosendale or Gardiner it will be a bit more.” They’ll be taking over the restaurants’ delivery services, expanding their clientele, and handling all the calls. “A lot of these places offer delivery, but if you’ve ever worked in a restaurant you know how busy and crazy things can get and you often don’t have the ability make those deliveries quickly and sometimes not at all. We’re going to do that for them and the benefit to our customers is that they know it’s fresh and fast.”
Cichinksy pointed out another benefit. They’ll “deliver food from up to three restaurants to one location.”
That’s a good service not only for college kids, but also for busy families. “Maybe dad just picked up one kid from soccer another from ballet, his wife is running late from work and there just isn’t time to make dinner that night,” Cichinsky said. “So he calls us and orders sushi, or P&G’s or Thai food. Everyone is fed, happy, and they’re supporting local businesses!”
Keeping in the spirit of promoting local, independent restaurants ranks high with the duo, they say. “Yes, if you want us to deliver McDonalds to you, we will,” said Katz, “but it will cost a heck of a lot more than what it would to get a great burger from P&G’s.”
The business partners have already stored away recycled napkins, compostable utensils and plates. “We’re driving, so yes, we’re adding to the carbon footprint,” conceded Katz. “But we’re also saving other people from having to drive, and we are very conscious of trying to do whatever we can to be environmentally friendly as you can see.” He pointed to a tower of newly purchased 100% recycled napkins.
Katz wanted to point out that how grateful he was to Mike Beck “for allowing me gain such experience as the manager of P&G’s and being so supportive of our venture. I was able to learn about managing, ordering, cooking, customer services and so much more from him and the staff there.” Katz will still be working at P&G’s but has scaled back to half-time so that he can be a full-time delivery doctor.
How had Cichinsky become involved? “Mike called me up one night, bounced the idea off me, and I thought it was brilliant and filled a real void,” responded Katz. “I was working at a restaurant at the time and thought, I’d much rather be working for myself, with my best friend, in the town I love then working for someone else.”
The childhood buddies hope to transform themselves from aspiring young rock stars to a combination of restaurant workers and full-fledged Delivery Doctors on Sept. 26. For their offerings, price listings and delivery hours go to www.newpaltzdeliverydoctor.com or call the office at 633-8128 or their cell at 516-330-0491.