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The duo behind new Philly tree delivery service Cousin Eddie’s promises that despite the name, they won’t pull a Chevy Chase and deliver your fresh-cut Douglas fir with roots dangling off the bottom.
Though they love to joke — as evidenced by naming their venture after the “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” movie character — biz partners Trevor Budny and Roger Price are totally serious about their seasonal operation, which launched this week. It’s a brainstorm made good for the pair, who work in home repair together.
“We were interested in finding a way to put our entrepreneurial spirit to good use,” said Budny, a former chef who lives in Queen Village.
“My sister’s boyfriend actually happens to have sold Christmas trees for many years,” he explained. “After we got to talking with him, we said why not take a stab at it, but make it delivery!”
The premise is simple: browse available trees on Instagram at @cousin_eddies, DM your choice, Venmo a payment, and it’ll be delivered to your door or set up in your home by workers wearing masks.
Cost for the whole thing: $75 flat.
That’s a lower price than some of the more-established competition, which includes places like The Christmas Tree Stand, a brother-sister business that sets up annually in Center City and also offers delivery.
Cousin Eddie’s trees come from Pennsylvania and North Carolina, according to Budny, who said they weren’t easy to source. Once ordered, they’ll be brought to people’s homes in a holiday light-adorned pickup truck, which Price already owned for his other business, Figure 8 Construction.
Budny, who formerly ran a catering and meal consulting business called Guerilla Nutrition, began doing repairs for Price after stepping away from the hospitality industry when he was diagnosed with cancer a little over a year ago, he said. Going through chemo made him realize he wanted “to have a little more balanced life,” so he learned handyman work and adopted that way of making a living.
It turned out to be a solid move, since the pandemic is threatening to decimate the restaurant scene — and home renovations are booming.
“We’ve suspected [it’s] because more people are spending more time at home than ever, and want things to be a little nicer,” Budny said. ” What I’ve heard from realtors is that people are using what they might have used on vacation to upgrade their house.”
Not as much construction can happen in the cold weather, hence the Christmas tree side hustle.
“To say it’s been a year full of ups and downs is an understatement,” wrote the partners in their launch announcement. “But seeing this idea develop into a real business — where we’ve been able to interact with others (safely) and spread some holiday cheer — has been a real gift.