Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Local delivery service makes runs to Missoula

Mineral Independent | December 13, 2023 12:00 AM

To live in rural Montana and love the quiet life of Mineral County there is the ever-present necessity of traveling for what you need. Whether it’s a monthly trip to Missoula for groceries, doctor visits, or getting snow tires put on, everyone out here knows about the commute.

Neighbors will kindly offer, “I’m heading into town (code for Missoula) can I grab anything for you while I’m there?”

Well now there is a solution for those forgotten about Walmart items, urgent prescriptions that need picked up, or an important car part that you just don’t want to make the 100-plus mile journey for. 

Jet Delivery to the rescue.

The brand-new delivery service, sprang to life through owners and operators Bill Kruckenberg and Rachel Vigue. Vigue, a Superior local and St. Regis High School graduate can recall what it was like to need to run to Missoula on a regular basis. 

“I remember growing up, there was always something we needed. We'd go to town for our bi-monthly groceries and shopping and there was always something that was left off the list,” Vigue said. 

"It never seems to be something convenient that you are able to pick up in town. It always seemed to be snow boots or something that one of the kids needed so our folks would get off work, run to town, get home late ... I never liked that. I'm hoping this helps relieve some stress on families and businesses that have to run constantly.”

Kruckenberg had prior experience with a transport program, before they teamed up to start Jet Delivery. 

“Bill's family runs a similar business to a different area, and we always liked the idea of the service," Vigue said. "Some people just can't get to town, don't have a car, or simply don't have the time. We decided to run toward Mineral County because it's the area that holds my heart.”

The concept of the business is ultimately anything that can be pre-ordered and paid for ahead of time to pick up in Missoula. 

Vigue said, “It can be anything from documents, to car parts, to dry grocery delivery, etc. If we are able to accommodate, we will do our absolute best to.” 

They will also be returning items back to Missoula if there's a need for it. 

"Any deliveries coming back to Missoula from Mineral County would be delivered the next morning,” she added.

To schedule a delivery service, customers simply call or text Jet Delivery’s number (406) 360-4076. Provide a name, email, phone number and physical address. 

Vigue explained, “We need to know where we're going, what we're picking up, and get any supporting documentation if needed, such as a confirmation number, pick up number, or bar code.” 

Vigue and Kruckenberg will take requests until 11:30 a.m. daily and will arrive in Mineral county for deliveries by 1 p.m. Drop-offs will be in Alberton first, then Superior, followed by St. Regis.

After just launching at the end of November, the innovative business has been off to a great start with wheels rolling right away. 

Vigue shared, “We were so amazed by the warm welcome we felt when we announced this. We've received so many phone calls inquiring and did our first delivery and our first pickup on our second day.”

Delivery fees for items dropped off in Frenchtown/Alberton are $18. For trips out to Superior/St. Regis the rate is $24. 

“If there's anything real oversized or overweight, we would have to discuss an additional fee, but we will try to stick to our standard rates as best as we can," Vigue said. "Our idea is to make it more affordable to utilize our service than it is to buy the fuel to drive to town, let alone the time spent there.”

As for snowy roads and winter driving conditions, Kruckenberg and Vigue have had a lifetime of experience.

“Growing up here makes you ready for the roads," Vigue said. "The snow is intimidating, of course, but slow and steady always wins the race.” 

And to keep up with vehicle wear and tear from trip mileage, she expressed, “Bill can do anything. His skills are seemingly endless so he will maintain the vehicle and make sure we are road ready so we can be there daily.”

And along with other road warriors like semi drivers, and plow workers, to drive the route is a blessing in disguise. 

Vigue shared, “I'm not sure there's much I like more than that. I mean, you can't ask for much better scenery for a drive ... and we get to do it while we're working? I love it.”

Kruckenberg and Vigue are optimistic that it's a service they can sustain and continue running for years to come. 

“We like the idea of making people's lives easier and being able to service the community I was brought up in means the world to me,” Vigue said.

For Jet Delivery to become a helpful resource to those in the county is their main objective. 

Vigue acknowledged, “I really hope that if it could benefit anyone at all, they at least pick up the phone and call to ask questions. I think it may seem a little scary at first because it's new, but we will be happy to talk anyone and everyone through how it works. We will make it as simple on the customer as possible.”

Having a familiar face will also make transactions more at ease. Many will recognize Vigue from her years in school, and her parents both graduated from Superior in the 70s. After working for TrailWest Bank in Missoula for close to 10 years, Vigue left to pursue a career in freight, then the opportunity for Jet Delivery came along.

Kruckenberg was in management for 15 years then decided to branch out to do something on his own. 

Vigue remarked, “We started putting our heads together as to what we could do together, since we have very different skills, something we would enjoy, allows us enough time to still be good parents, and most importantly, something we could do that truly felt like we're helping people.”

A business such as Jet Delivery couldn’t have come along during a better season, whether it’s last-minute Christmas gifts, fixings for ham dinner, or cookies for Santa, if you need it now and can’t make the drive to Missoula give Bill and Rachel a call.

Vigue concluded, “There is no such thing as a silly request. What we're really hoping for is when someone says, "I don't want to go to town for just one thing," that we are the first option that comes to mind. We will be consistent, professional, and do anything we can to ensure a good experience.” 

Jet Delivery can be found on Facebook, or call or text, (406)360-4076.