Grooster CEO Lesel Radage is used to building. Before starting her company earlier this year, Lesel travelled the world working in engineering and construction management, building a city hall, police station, fire station and a few schools along the way. She’s lived in San Francisco, Helsinki and Boston, looking after her two kids, and then finally moved back to Vancouver in the summer of 2009.
With Grooster, a port-manteau of “growing” and “rooster”, Lesel aims to grow e-commerce in Canada, where she feels e-commerce lags behind other countries she’s travelled. She’s also very keen on making connections with different people. “Grooster allows me to connect locals and local businesses at two points,” says Lesel, “first online and then through interactions at bricks and mortar stores.”
Lesel sees “local” to be key in Grooster, which like many “flash” deal sites features limited-time offers to a limited number of buyers. Not only is the business home-grown in Vancouver, Lesel also strives to “connect locals with unique and high quality local businesses.” Grooster seeks out unique businesses that are a bit off the beaten path. “Some may seem well out of the way, but we work with business owners who we feel will provide good value and experiences to our subscribers.” And because purchase confidence and trust is key, Grooster personally checks and visits almost every business that appears on the site.
“Being a mother of two, I know the struggles of time, costs and balance,” says Lesel, who adds that Grooster often features kid-friendly photographers, restaurants and retailers.
What’s next for Grooster? In addition to offering more to its subscribers, the company is looking to bring a more sustainable model to local businesses. Lesel adds: “Our new product will launch soon… stay tuned!”