NRV drone delivery to start next month, feature Sugar Magnolia

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7)— In just a few weeks, drone delivery will be a reality in the New River Valley.

WDBJ7 photo

After about seven years of testing, the company Wing announced Thursday it has partnered with FedEx, Walgreens, and local Blacksburg business Sugar Magnolia. Now, you can order anything from allergy medication to a sweet treat.

It’s a big secret the owners of Sugar Magnolia have had to keep for about three months, but now they’re excited to share with everyone what you could have delivered to your front door.

“It just shows how forward thinking and progressive we can be in Blacksburg,” said chief operating officer Tom Raub.

Sugar Magnolia’s owners have only had the shop about 15 months, but now, they’re about to be the first small business to be part of Wing’s most advanced delivery drone trial in the U.S.

“This is just one more way that we can expand our mission and really kind of get out there and touch customers in a different way, and to continue to spread the sweetness, as we like to say,” said owner Michelle Raub.

Raub said when they found out three months ago, they were ecstatic to find out they were the small business to be picked.

“We had that moment of, oh my gosh, this is real, this is happening, we, Sugar Magnolia in Blacksburg Virginia, we’re the first in the United States to be a part of this at this level,” Raub said.

The delivery drones can only hold about three pounds, the perfect size for a flavorful bag of popcorn or a spooky piece of chocolate.

“It really is an opportunity to grab that last-minute birthday present and card you might have forgotten or a sweet to send to somebody that you just are thinking of. We’re really trying to package some good opportunities that people can send out,” Raub said.

“The information we gather from this, the community feedback and the response, will really help us craft this service and these offerings to be the most valuable and accepting to communities,” said Wing CEO James Ryan Burgess at a news conference Thursday. “We’re really excited to have a high presence in Christiansburg and be a good community member participating in conversations and always being open to hearing feedback. We’re excited to be on the ground there and ready to engage.”

It’s a trial making history here at home while the future hovers above our doorsteps.

“We are so honored that they looked to us and that they’re including us in this trial,” Raub said.

While ice cream is a big hit at Sugar Magnolia, it won’t be part of the initial trial delivery, but don’t worry; the owners want to try it out at some point in the future.

You can read more from Wing’s announcement ; click here.

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