Alcohol delivery app launches on the Coast

Home alcohol delivery is now available on the Coast. John Fitzhugh introduces us to the South Mississippi man who is the first to offer this new service.
Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 6:58 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - When the Mississippi Legislature passed a bill allowing for alcohol delivery, Anthony Depreo of Diamondhead got in on the ground floor.

He has some experience in the food delivery business and now has launched Booze Cruise.

“We’re the first one, we’re the first permitted, the first licensed and we’re very honored for that to be the case,” he said.

Depreo announced the company’s launch last week. So far, they have signed up eight partners in two counties on the Coast. Six liquor stores in Hancock County and two beer retailers in Harrison County. Depreo said they are working to expand their services into Gulfport, Biloxi and Ocean Springs.

“We have ambitions to expand to every mid-size town in Mississippi in the next couple of years,” Depreo said with confidence.

While the liquor industry was the main force behind getting the law passed, local beer companies are getting on board too. Chandeleur Island Brewing Company in Gulfport was the first beer retailer to sign up with Booze Cruise.

“We saw the announcement of it on Facebook over the weekend that it was happening in Oxford and Starkville and the Gulf Coast,” said Gina Prater, sales manager for Chandeleur Island. “I immediately started researching, and I literally Facebook messaged Anthony and within 60 seconds, I think he called me. "

Depreo was quick to respond for a reason.

“Our local breweries, I mean between Chandeleur and our other local breweries, I think those are the people that we’re really excited to work with,” Depreo said. “Because that’s the cornerstone of our beer industry down here and these are beers people are familiar with.”

Prater said it’s a natural extension of the specialty delivery industry that has grown during the pandemic.

“It’s convenience,” she said. “It’s a product that they know. We’re happy to partner with them because we think it’s going to be another added benefit to our brewery here locally.”

Booze Cruise operates off of an app that not only allows you to order but ensures that the person ordering is old enough to do so. That was a big selling point for Prater whose customers have been calling in and picking up their own orders during the pandemic.

“So I can imagine that those people will be excited on Sunday afternoon to say ‘Hey, game’s coming on’, or Saturday afternoon, and I’d like two cases of beer delivered to the house,” Prater said.

But she misspoke.

That Sunday order will have to be made on Saturday because the law does not allow for delivery of alcohol on Sundays or Christmas Day.

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