New beverage shop lets you take now, pay (text) later

A new store in TriBeCa is redefining grab and go. At The Drug Store on Church Street, you take what you want to drink and text later to pay. It might sound crazy, but Dirty Lemon is getting so much attention for this strange new store that it just might be a stroke of marketing genius.

Dirty Lemon CEO Zak Normandin considers The Drug Store a walk-in vending machine. Consumers can come off the street, grab a bottle of their favorite Dirty Lemon beverage and then text on the way out saying “hey, I took a bottle of the ginseng or the CBD” or whatever it may be. You heard it right. You just take and text. No cash, no cards, no clerks.

Zak says drop points like this, and he plans on opening several of them, have the potential to provide customers with easy access to products.

So what is Dirty Lemon? It’s a beverage brand that launched about three years ago, with conversational commerce or c-commerce. The only way to buy their drinks? Text message. Send a text message, and Dirty Lemon replies, processes your order and delivers same day or next day in every U.S. market.

That unique text-to-order concept is catching on, especially with millennials. Zak says they have over 100,000 customers right now and have sold more than 2,000,000 bottles to date. At $65 for a 6 bottle case or $45 a case for VIPs who agree to buy one case per month, Dirty Lemon has pulled in between $15 million and $21 million in sales. Not bad for a lemon-juice based beverage.

The base for all of their beverages, Zak says is lemon juice, ocean minerals, and sea salt. Then they add flavor and function profiles on top of each base.

Collagen, for example, is great for skin and hair. Charcoal is great for detoxifying. Their new CBD beverage has 20 mg of full spectrum CBD, which provides a relaxing effect. There are eight different Dirty Lemon beverages, with Turmeric launching next month.

As far as Zak can see, the possibilities for Dirty Lemon and c-commerce are endless.

Text messages are ubiquitous, he says. Everyone has a phone and most people text frequently. So, he thinks, linking phone numbers with the ordering process really puts control back in the customers’ hands.

The Drug Store is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 293 Church Street in TriBeCa.