The coronavirus and concerns for social distancing have inspired Desert Vista senior Preston Cameau to start a little business.
A state wrestling champion the last two years, Preston launched Personal Home Delivery on recently. His mother, Audrey Laurice Bilbrey, announced the launch on social media and it didn’t take long for customers to line up for his service.
“It’s weird not seeing everybody out and about like they normally are,” Cameau said, “so I figured nobody wants to go to the grocery store so why not go do it for them. At the same time, I’m helping the community out.”
Preston said he’s averaged roughly five deliveries per day, mostly for grocery runs. He offers his service for just about any kind of pickup and delivery, starting at $10 plus gratuity.
“I’ve been to Walmart, I’ve been to Costco, I’ve been to Frys,” he said. “I kind of go all over for people. Home Depot. People are putting in orders and it’s going well.”
Those interested can reach out via phone or email with a request. Sometimes, people have ordered anything they need ahead of time and give the store his information, so they allow him to pick up items. Other times, he is given a list and shops for those items himself.
He maintains constant contact with patrons to let them know if something on their list is unavailable. For the most part, he’s been able to find most items on the lists he is given. Though paper products and disinfectants are still a hot commodity.
If he is able to, he finds an alternative to a product, perhaps a non-name-branded item, although he said even can be a challenge given the evolving situation with the pandemic.
“Because I go to so many stores a day, I try to do the best I can,” Preston said. “Everyone has been appreciative. It’s something they need because there are a lot of people at risk. I have a lot of support from the community.
While a healthy 19-year-old, he still takes his own precautions to not only protect himself from contracting the virus, but also those he is delivering to.
He outfits himself in gloves, a mask and goggles whenever he enters a story. Once he receives the groceries or other items he is delivering, he wipes them down with disinfectant wipes he keeps inside his car. He’s even gone as far as ordering his own foldable shopping cart, so he doesn’t run the risk of touching an infected one in any of the stores.
He expects to receive that this week and believes it will only help grow his business.
“It will eliminate the whole process of going to the store and using one of the carts there that someone else has already touched or coughed and sneezed on,” Preston said. “It’s another way to try and stay safe.”
Preston began wrestling at Altadena Middle School, where he won a conference championship all three years. He medaled for the first time at Desert Vista as a sophomore in 2018, taking fourth place in the 160-pound weight class.
As a junior in 2019, he won his first state title in the 160-pound class. He capped off his high school wrestling career with a state-championship win in the 170-pound class in February.
His success on the mat have given him options to pursue wrestling in college. At this point in time, he’s contemplating wrestling for a Division I program and having to help pay some tuition or essentially receiving a full ride with the help of academic scholarships to a Division II, III or NAIA school.
With classes moved online due to the virus, Preston often spends his mornings doing schoolwork before heading out to fulfill delivery orders around 12 p.m.
“I just have to manage my time really well,” he said. “I try to get as much work done as I can in the morning before going out and doing deliveries.”
Though he does charge a small fee for deliveries, Preston said he’s not in this business for the money. He admits putting some aside for college is nice, but he ultimately aims to support those in the community that have supported him.
And if he’s able to help potentially lessen the chance of someone getting sick by doing the essential shopping for them, that’s rewarding enough.
“I can help out the community and keep families safe at home,” he said. “I’m just trying to help fight the war on the invisible enemy. I just want to help the community anyway I can.”
Those interested in his delivery service can contact him by phone at 435-602-0264 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can also be reached via Personal Home Delivery’s Facebook page at facebook.com/personalhomedelivery/.