Between classes and football practice, College first-year Raul Segredo has little time to spare. Recently, his list of commitments grew when he launched his own business, ObieEats, through Oberlin’s LaunchU program — an 11-day entrepreneurship summit over Winter Term that teaches students the ins and outs of entrepreneurship through information sessions and workshops. ObieEats is a food delivery service similar to Uber Eats — you pick a local restaurant, place your order, and ObieEats picks it up and brings it to you.
Segredo said he understands how inconvenient it is to go out to buy a meal in Oberlin’s harsh winter weather conditions, and wanted to provide an alternative to students and residents alike.
“Coming from Miami, I wasn’t used to having to walk through snow, and I wished there was a way I could get food and avoid having to go outside,” he said.
Entrepreneurship runs in Segredo’s family, so he combined his genuine desire to help others with his natural business skills.
“My dad and uncle are both very successful entrepreneurs,” Segredo said. “More importantly though, starting my own company has been a passion of mine for my entire life. I could name countless little make-shift businesses I’ve made throughout my life, like lemonade stands, selling origami, and throwing parties in high school.”
Segredo credited LaunchU with supporting what he learned from his father and uncle.
“In LaunchU, I was able to meet a lot of people who were able to guide me through the logistics of the company,” Segredo said. “A huge shoutout goes to Bara Watts, who was a big motivator and is the director of entrepreneurship here at Oberlin. She was really my mentor throughout creating ObieEats, and my dad and uncle also really helped me out with different questions throughout the process.”
Segredo’s ObieEats has a cheaper price format than similar companies like Uber Eats and PostMates, charging a maximum 30 percent delivery fee on the food that customers order. So far, Segredo works with Kim’s Grocery & Carry-out, Agave Burrito Bar & Te- quilería, Black River Cafe, Oberlin Kitchen, and The Feve.
So far, the company has received positive reviews across the Oberlin community. Oberlin resident Carmen McFarlin said she was excited when she saw the ObieEats account on Instagram.
“As a community member, I have often wished for a food delivery service, so I was very excited to see Instagram suggest that I follow ObieEats,” McFarlin wrote in a message to the Review. “I looked them up online and then contacted them to see if they delivered off-campus, which they do. We ordered a delivery from Kim’s … through [the ObieEats] app. Delivery was very prompt, and I was very happy with the service. I definitely plan on using it more. However, since delivery is done via bicycle, I am hesitant to order when the weather is bad or especially cold.”
College first-year Ben von Mehren was also pleased with his order.
“[Segredo’s] always under 45 [minutes], and the food is just as good as if it were a normal delivery,” von Mehren said. “People just have to try it to like it. I feel like everyone’s unsure because he’s the new kid on the block, but [ObieEats] works like you’d want it to.”
The company plans on partnering with every restaurant in town as it continues to grow. As a student-athlete, Segredo already deals with a hectic schedule, but manages to make deliveries for hungry Obies Monday through Saturday from 6–10 p.m.
“What really appeals to me is the grind,” Segredo said. “I think when you’re starting your own business, your hard work is really transparent in the product you make, and that’s what appeals the most to me. I’ve never cared so much about personal publicity. I just wanted to find a way to positively affect people’s lives and try and make the world a better place.”