CHOMP develops online coupon service for eastern Iowa businesses

Explore the Corridor is an online-based coupon service developed by CHOMP. Visitors and residents may use the free website to get deals on food and drink, experiences, lodging, among other items.

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James Year

A CHOMP sticker is prominently displayed on the window of Mickey’s Pub on Monday, Jan. 29, 2018.

Kinsey Phipps, News Reporter

Locally owned and operated in Iowa City, CHOMP Delivery emphasizes the importance of supporting local businesses, cofounder Adam Weeks said as he was stuck in traffic out on a delivery. The company’s new digital coupon service, Explore the Corridor, launched in January.

“It’s best to keep it local, keep it to what we know,” Weeks said. “Now we have this small additional platform where businesses and customers can both benefit. Initially, we were going to launch it as a CHOMP deals platform, but then we started thinking about in-house deals and other industries, salons, experiences, etc.”

Explore the Corridor allows eastern Iowa residents and visitors to explore deals from local businesses on food and drink, spa, entertainment, lodging, and shopping. Businesses upload as many coupons as they wish to draw in customers. 

RELATED: CHOMP thrives, despite tough competition

CHOMP began reaching out to companies last fall and into this winter. Businesses had to fill out an initial form; then, they had the freedom to upload as many coupons for potential customers as they wished, Weeks said. The service is free for businesses to use currently, but Explore the Corridor will transition to a subscription service beginning early this summer, he said. Companies will pay $99 a year for the service. 

The reason that is sustainable is because this is not our primary revenue generator. It’s important for us to bring additional services to our customers.”

— Adam Weeks, founder of CHOMP

Explore the Corridor sets itself apart from larger services such as Groupon because it does not take revenue from coupons used, Weeks said. 

“The reason that is sustainable is because this is not our primary revenue generator,” Weeks said. “It’s important for us to bring additional services to our customers.”

RELATED: CHOMP looks to expand services, collaborate with local retailers

Businesses participating have received the service well, he said. Reds Alehouse in North Liberty has coupons available on Explore the Corridor for customers to use. 

“We work with a lot of local vendors for our food, craft beer, and now we are working with CHOMP,” Reds general manager Stephanie Breitbach said. “We really like working with other local businesses. Anytime we can do something that helps us bring new people in the community, we take the opportunity.”

The Iowa City Public Library has worked with CHOMP for about a year delivering library books on hold. Community members can request to have CHOMP deliver books on their hold list. 

“We already gave a good working relationship with CHOMP,” said Kara Logsden, the Public Library community and access services coordinator. “When we saw the opportunity with Explore the Corridor, we thought, ‘Wow, why don’t we try it?’ We think it’s a good opportunity for people to learn about the library and to learn about the Bookmobile.” 

The library has coupons for free book bags at the library and Bookmobile this month, Logsden said. The staff hopes to use the unique coupon to draw people to the library to explore what it has to offer the community, she said.

CHOMP continues to ponder about how to expand the business to benefit the community, including expanding the delivery service to Cedar Rapids. 

“We will be thoughtful about it, and if we find a place we can bring value here locally, then we will,” Weeks said. 

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