STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Student’s Mobile Store Fills ‘Munchies’ Craving
Thomas Randall in his kitchen with his inventory of products for a newly launched food delivery service in Tucson, Ariz.
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — It’s midnight, the chip bowl is empty, the ball for the beer pong game has gone missing, everyone is out of cigarettes and no one wants to go to the store.
It’s time to call Munchies, Thomas Randall’s new party central convenience store on wheels.
If you live on the UA campus or within two miles, he’ll bring you a bag of chips, pack of smokes, beer pong balls and red plastic cups. He’ll even bring you condoms — $3 for three.
“Condoms are what a lot of college students need and don’t have on hand,”’ said Randall, a 21-year-old PimaCommunity Collegestudent who recently rolled out his late-night delivery service.
Munchies stocks everything from snacks — ice cream, frozen microwaveable pizzas and sandwiches, cereal and soft drinks — to party accessories and tobacco products — nine different brands of cigarettes, Swisher grape-flavored cigarillos, chewing tobacco and rolling papers.
“Everything is either frozen or packaged,” said Randall, a Dallas native who flunked out of the UA his freshman year in 2009-10. He said he never turned in homework and often blew off tests.
Randall first came up with the idea for Munchies when he was at the UA.
“I remember freshman year trying to order things late at night,” he said. “Your choices were either sandwiches or pizza, and that was about it. I thought about this with a bunch of my friends, and it was mostly the cigarette smokers who gave me the idea.”
In early October, not long after he turned 21, Randall decided to put his idea into action. He took his birthday money, which he was going to spend on a trip to Las Vegas, and went shopping for cereal, cartons of cigarettes and cases of frozen pizzas that would appeal to his target audience of 18- to 20-year-old mostly college students.
It took him three weeks to get his state and city business licenses, set up a website and start advertising, including putting door hangers around the dorms. Apparently, he had learned a lot in those business classes he had failed, he said, calling the journey so far a crash course in applied business.
Because he delivers packaged goods, he didn’t need a health department license, Pima County Health Department officials said. UA Residence Life also affords him the same courtesy they do with the restaurants that deliver on campus; he needs no permission to go on campus so long as he abides by dorm policies, including that he
cannot enter beyond the security desk without being escorted by a resident.
When he rolled out, Randall made 10 deliveries of everything from a frozen pot pie to his most popular item, Dunkaroos — small graham crackers that you dip in icing.
If Munchies takes off, Randall said he could see franchising the idea in other college towns.
“It’s a perfect business for a student,” he said. “Anyone could do this and still go to school.”