Here is a selection of testimonials showing how useful Clutch Couriers has been to several businesses, describing how we bring great results. (click to show/hide)
Santa Cruz Rehearsal Studios
Nonprofits' Insurance Alliance of California has been relying on Clutch Couriers since early 2007 for all our courier needs.
By providing insurance services to thousands of nonprofits, we generate a great deal of time-sensitive, confidential mail. This is all handled by Rick and his wonderful staff.
Clutch Couriers are always professional and efficient, they check in and follow up, and are constantly striving to provide improved service.
If any problems arise, I feel totally confident and at ease in communicating this with Rick, and I am assured that a solution is available.
We appreciate and are grateful for this fine local business and the excellent consistent service they provide."
"Hello Steve - I have a great recommendation for you - I have an associate named Rick of www.clutchcouriers.com who offers a variety of services including printing and postering. His hearty crew of bicycle couriers covers a wide area of all the key spots for a great price. And his printing fees are half of everybody else in town. For example you could get 40 posters printed - with two hours of distribution for roughly $50 or so."
The Lochtefeld Agency
"Wow, you’re fast! I was just picking up the phone to call to confirm. Thanks, Rick."
Collette Nicole Pelcic, Attorney at Law
"Wow that was speedy thanks Rick!"
"Rick Graves has provided service of process and courier services to my law practice for over a year. Rick is punctual, diligent and highly professional. Rick has always endeavored to accommodate rush situations when time was of the essence. I feel totally confident that the sensitive documents I generate in my child-centered Family Law practice are handled with the utmost attention to security and confidentiality. I am pleased to recommend Clutch Couriers."
Nancy J. Kerrigan
Law Office of Nancy J. Kerrigan
The Crepe Place
"You are the BEST! Thank you so much! You spring right into action with no warning whatsoever and after the regular deadline is history --- just the kind of couriers we need. Could you please clone yourselves and put offices in strategic county seats throughout the state? It would make my life so much easier. Thanks a million, and have a lovely weekend."
Jane Gorsi/Legal Secretary
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton
Maggie Conant/Legal Assistant
Milberg & De Phillips, P.C.
Allison Prather Office/Facilities Manager
Niemann Capital Management, Inc.
Donna Becker, Attorney at Law
Greben & Associates
Jennifer J. Gray — Attorney at Law
Bosso Williams, APC
The Catalyst Nightclub
Elena Schneider, Legal Assistant
McManis Faulkner, San Jose, CA
Easy Access Developers
We never take our clients for granted, and they rely upon our promise to provide:
Also as owner, I will work with you personally to make sure your needs are met with the utmost of expediency. Our regular clients love the way Clutch Couriers gets them in gear by taking the worry out of their day. Read our testimonials (above) to see what they have to say.
Thank you for visiting my site, I look forward to the opportunity of working with you and your organization.
SANTA CRUZ -- Rick Graves and the other riders at Clutch Couriers, which recently announced an expansion into Monterey County, have nimbly maneuvered the economic downturn as if they were swerving around a suddenly stopped delivery van on Ocean Street.
"I really didn't expect the market to be as open and diverse as it is," Graves said this week amid the clutter of his one-room office where a handful of riders carefully step over stacks of promotional posters covering the floor. Bicycles lean against wall of the foyer and the outside wall.
"The only thing to take a dip was entertainment and that's come back full force."
In late morning on a weekday, the phone rings every few minutes.
The nearly 4-year-old company, which includes Graves, 40, and four other riders, managed to grow 35 percent in 2009. In the first quarter of 2010 business picked up and Graves expects to grow at the same rate this year.
"I didn't expect us to be where we were in terms of revenues," Graves said. "There are new markets emerging all the time."
The company provides courier services such as court filing, mobile notary services and service of processes as well as rush and same-day court filing in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. A print and promotion division posts fliers and posters throughout the Santa Cruz area.
Another local company, Pedalers Express, provides the same services but Graves said the biggest competition is from companies that use motorized vehicles, in part because the community doesn't always "get" that bike messengers are the most reliable way to get through congested streets.
In big cities, business relies on bicycle couriers to wind their way through rush hour traffic jams. But, in a small community like Santa Cruz, bike messengers are often pegged as a green alternative rather than the norm. It is an image Graves strives to change by focusing on professional service rather than conservation.
"The point is not about being green," he said. "It's about selling a service. Honestly, for most of these markets, that's the quickest way to get there."
He counts on expansion into Watsonville and Monterey County. Clutch Couriers, he says, is going to be well-positioned to take on more business.
"It's just a matter of people realizing that we're here," he said. "We're on the road every day, anywhere."
Just outside the Clutch Couriers office, riders check over their street bicycles before heading out on runs that would take them to the courthouses in Santa Cruz and Watsonville, between clinics and to businesses and government offices throughout the county.
On an average day, they travel 40-50 miles per day, rain or shine, with big black Chrome messenger bags slung across their backs. There are longer days, however, including regular runs to and from Watsonville. Graves has a Honda Civic hybrid for small freight and out-of-county service.
To save on fuel, cost and staff time, Santa Cruz Metro switched last year to Clutch Couriers for the distribution of interoffice mail and board agendas.
"It has been cost-effective," said Tony Tapiz, acting administrative services coordinator for the bus agency.
Every morning, a courier runs a mail circuit between various offices in Santa Cruz to Soquel and back. A rider also carries board agendas between Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Capitola and Watsonville.
Tapiz admitted that initially he was surprised they could make the haul, especially in inclement weather but, now, "I just respect they get the job done."
Graves, who grew up in New Zealand and moved back to Santa Cruz for middle school, spent most of his 20s in New York City, working as a bike messenger. By the time he moved back to Santa Cruz in 2000, the roads were more congested and bicycle travel "was a no-brainer." He worked in retail and at Pedalers Express, a Santa Cruz-based worker-owned and operated messenger service that operates throughout the county on non-motorized transportation exclusively. Graves launched his own company at the end of 2006.
"They are awesome," said Michelle Harper, a paralegal for the Law Office of Heidi Simonson, which specializes in family law. The firm has been relying on the bike service for about a year and a half. "They're always here right on time. He rides his bike, even when it's raining."
Other customers include the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District, Bosso Williams, UC Santa Cruz, Non-Profits Insurance Alliance of California, Santa Cruz Hells Angels Motorcycle Club and Niemann Capital Management.
Rain storms and requests to meet tight deadlines while navigating busy rush hour traffic -- those are the best days, said Graves, who claims to have carried a restraining order about 20 miles from Watsonville to the top of Mission Hill in Santa Cruz -- obeying all traffic laws -- in just 52 minutes. The winter rains were actually fun, he said.
"I take the long runs to Watsonville. That's what my love is, riding," said Graves.
The funkiest delivery? That would be getting a call to deliver organic catnip to Sneakers, a cat who had been left alone on Christmas Eve.
"I thought it was the neatest thing," said Graves, a cat lover, who added that he was tipped well. "And, the cat was nice too, of course."
Graves envisions a bicycle messenger office every 40 miles across the state but is focusing on growing "at a rate that's sustainable.
"Now we need to expand into new markets like Monterey and pick up on plans to increase rides to South County," he said. "There's a lot more economic activity this year. I think we're well-positioned for growth as long as we ride that wave."
By JENNIFER PITTMAN - email@example.com
Posted: 06/06/2010 01:30:58 AM PDT
Originally posted here: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/business/ci_15238288
As a young boy growing up in New Zealand, Rick Graves used to ride to school on the back of his older brothers bike, holding on for dear life as his brother would tear down gravelly roads in an attempt to knock off the pint-sized passenger. At the age of 10 his family moved to Santa Cruz and, now, with those early recreational bike days and a stint as a professional bike messenger in New York City under his belt, the 39-year-old is the one tearing down local roads on two wheels. Transplanting the cut-throat tradition of the Big Apple's urban bike messenger system to Santa Cruz since starting Clutch Couriers in 2006, Graves helms a model green business that's seeing the rewards of putting the pedal to the pavement.
Initially a one-man operation founded with a $1,000 investment and operating out of Graves' home, Clutch Couriers has grown into a six-person crew that can service businesses, personal deliveries and legal filing from Monterey to over the hill, and also provides in-house print jobs. Aside from the occasional use of his Honda Civic Hybrid (for access to the furthest spots), the company has built itself up by going back to the basics: high quality delivery at a low cost via bicycles. The ultimate low-emissions approach that also means less parking hassles, less mechanical maintenance and less insurance fees, the company's overhead is also less so that the price for the consumer is cheaper. It's not just a green alternative, Graves says, it's the best alternative.
"I don't know how many times you've been sitting in traffic and watched a bicyclist pass you, but if you really want something across town quickly that's the way to go," he states, sitting in bike attire in his new but modest office, band posters printed on 100 percent recycled paper laid out on the floor ready to be plastered around the county by his team, his phone ringing non-stop. "Whether it's for increasing the efficiency of your business or for the environment, it's the best option for social change and it's also the best option for good business."
With a clientele you're unlikely to find mingling in the same room, Clutch Couriers caters to the flyering needs of the Museum of Art and History, the Watsonville Brown Berets, Santa Cruz's Hell's Angels, Moe's Alley and Temple Beth El, to name a few. Major daily accounts include handling the full-service banking for a local raw-foods company, delivering the mail for the Nonprofit Insurance Alliance of California and the Santa Cruz Metro Transit District, along with constant court filings from top Bay Area law firms. Establishing a route between Santa Cruz and Watsonville since last April, Clutch Couriers has hooked up the two regions so that commerce can now go back and forth in a sustainable way. In addition, Graves is a certified process server and notary. Just because he's on a bike doesn't mean he can't answer the call of the white-collared conservatives.
"Ultimate change for the planet is going to come from the business community, because those are the people making what we consume and what we put out into the environment," he says of his inclination to work for lawyers and corporate clients just as much as your local grandma sending cookies or your local rock band advertising a gig. "If you're only promoting yourself to like-minded individuals, you're not expanding your reach into conservative markets and you're doing the environment a disservice."
Covering important ground philosophically and physically, Graves rides up to 60 miles on his bike each day, and together his team racks up approximately 700 miles each week. His commitment to exceed customer expectations and prove that you can make a career out of something that's a win-win situation for everyone and the environment, is what keeps his wheels turning.
The other reason he toils past you in traffic each day? Good old-fashioned fun.
"The personal aspect to it is, I won't lie, it's absolutely the most fun physical labor I've ever done and that's why I've been addicted to it and worked so hard at it for over 15 years," Graves explains matter-of-factly. He then muses in a softened tone, "At the end of the day, doing what you love just adds to your soul."