Behind the business: Ibiza Delivers

It’s easy to forget, but ensuring that yachts stay fully stocked up with enough food, drink, and supplies for a cruising period is essential to the smooth running of these vessels and their crew’s busy schedules. Orders are often short-notice, and items need to be gathered and delivered quickly and efficiently.

Provisioning businesses know the value of these orders, too; a happy, repeat yacht client is one they typically want to keep, so pressure is high to get things right.

We spoke to David Max, co-founder of Ibiza Delivers, an online supermarket and provisioning service to yachts and villas, to tell us a bit about the origins of the business and the responsibilities that come with supplying to yachts.

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How did Ibiza Delivers begin?

My wife Lily and I had been coming to Ibiza with friends for many years. We fell in love with the island, the beauty of the place, its unique energy and mix of interesting people.

I was a management consultant at the time working for KPMG in Copenhagen, and having just returned from a friend’s 30th in Ibiza, I stood in my hotel room and set myself the challenge of thinking of a business idea that we could setup in Ibiza. We set up the Ibiza Delivers online supermarket in 2011 linking in with villa companies and providing a full online supermarket service for holiday makers and island residents. 

At the end of our first season, we were approached by Chef Anthony Bantoft on Keri Lee III who was looking for a full provisioning service. We rose to the challenge and our large delivery was a huge success, leading us to realise that there was a gap in the market for a specialist provisioning service on Ibiza.

What goes on at the business on a typical day?

The provisioning team gets in between 5 and 6am to process the orders we have received overnight from the chefs and chief stewardesses from our yacht clients.  Initially, it’s a case of ringing, emailing or WhatsApp-ing through the various orders to our fresh suppliers: meat, fish and fruit & veg.  These are then prepared by our suppliers before collection.

Then the dry and freezer sourcing team starts work at 7:30am and are split into different supplier routes, sourcing ingredients and items that have been ordered. Our warehouse also holds stock of produce we bring over from the UK and mainland Spain, from Imperial Caviar to Dorset cereals, from British flour to Swiffer cleaning products. Each order is then packed and every item individually checked by our packing manager with the help of the account managers.

The packed orders are then loaded into a temperature-controlled truck and driven down to the yacht in the marina, to a jetty for a tender drop, or onto our own Hunton 1005 RIB as we now offer a temperature controlled offshore provisioning service to yachts moored around Ibiza or Formentera.

Give us a typical example of a superyacht’s provisioning order; what do they like to have? 

I have to say, there tends to be no such thing as a typical order; typical in the sense that produce is always ordered by the chef of chief stew, but they are so varied in both size and type of produce.

Some chefs like to order every day, which is harder work for us but ensures the orders are manageable in size. A very good client of ours, which is a 68m displacement yacht with on average 8 to 12 guests on board will spend between €1.5k - €2k daily for 2-3 months.

The order will consist of fresh fruit & vegetables, an array of different fresh fish including Cabineros prawns, black cod fillets, wild seabass and sashimi loins along with a host of other ingredients.

Other chefs prefer to order once every four days or so, which simply means the orders are greater in volume and in choice of products.  The other type of order is a full provisions order as the yacht is heading off to a new destination; these orders are good fun and can be very substantial in size, sometimes needing two 3.5 tonne trucks to deliver everything.

How do yacht provisioning orders compare to that of villas?

Yachts order more of everything than our villa clients.  Typically the average spend from an online villa order is €550.  The average spend from a superyacht is €2,100.

You have to remember that many of these yachts have 12 guests and 20 crew, all of whom need to eat at least three meals a day. This can go up to 40 to 50 crew once the yacht gets to 100m+.

The biggest spend is on fresh fish.  Wild fish, which most of our yacht clients order, is very expensive in Ibiza and 70% of the spend with our fish mongers comes from our yacht clients, with only 30% from our villa clients. 

Any crazy / weird / challenging orders? How do you handle them?

We have had our fair share over the years.  There were two very famous American music artists arriving to stay on the 65m yacht of one of our clients. We were given the order on Saturday morning and had to deliver on Monday morning before midday. Fortunately, my wife was in the UK at a wedding that weekend so managed to arrange couriers to deliver her products that we would be unable to source in Ibiza. With a quick trip to TK MAXX to buy two large suitcases, she came back laden with all sorts of specialist US goods. 

We were also asked for an Ice Luge by a client one year. On Ibiza there is no company providing this service, however the client was set on having one for a birthday celebration. We put 100% effort into any request and will do our absolute utmost to service our clients’ every need, so we found a local sculptor who was happy to join us in this challenge. We froze down a large amount of water in our walk-in freezer then watched with bated breath whilst the sculptor set to work with his tool set in one of our walk-in fridges. A day later we were delivering a fully functioning Ice Luge to the delight of our clients.

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About Ibiza Delivers

Ibiza Delivers offers online supermarket and provisioning services to yachts and villas across Ibiza and Formentera. It also uses its custom-designed Hunton tender with built-in fridge and chillbox to provide temperature-controlled deliveries out at anchor, and the tender can also be hired as a water taxi service or for guest trips around the islands.

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