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  • Checkout chips in to foodbank

    Celebrity Chef Lynn Crawford holds Daily Bread Food Bank close to her heart, and wants to help by challenging Toronto to provide a Thanksgiving meal for those in need. Each time someone downloads and saves with Checkout 51 from Sept. 24 through to Thanksgiving, Checkout 51 will donate a meal to Daily Bread Food Bank.

    Checkout 51 is a mobile couponing app that takes the effort out of budget-conscious grocery shopping. The user simply browses the weekly offers and uploads a picture of their receipt from their favourite grocery store. Once the user accumulates $20 in savings, a cheque is mailed to their door.

    “Daily Bread Food Bank is the largest provider of food relief in the Greater Toronto Area” says Noah Godfrey, Founder of Checkout 51, “and since access to nutritious, affordable food is part of our mission as a company, we are honoured to be working with Chef Lynn in order to support Daily Bread’s Thanksgiving food drive efforts.”

    Since launching, Checkout 51 has been downloaded by 1 million Canadians who have saved almost $5 million on their grocery bills.

    For a list of needed food items, see Dailybread.ca.

    Food chains on rise:

    Canadians who love the charm, authenticity and inimitable cuisine found only at their favourite local eatery should hurry and make a reservation. According to ReCount, the annual restaurant census from leading global information company The NPD Group, 853 restaurants closed their doors between 2012 and 2013, the majority of which were independent establishments. Chains, however, are on the rise and have fared well in most provinces during the same timeframe.

    Nationwide, chain restaurants grew by 52 units while independents decreased by 905. Looking specifically at each province, Ontario had the largest unit increase of chain restaurants (101) followed distantly by Quebec (42), but both provinces also had the largest decline of independents, down 366 and 264 units respectively.

    Country-wide data reveals restaurant unit declines in most provinces, with the only overall growth in Manitoba, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and Yukon. Similarly, these are the only provinces showing growth across both the chain and independent categories, with the exception of Yukon, whose chains remained flat.

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  • Smartphone coupon app

    main_134Many people like to save money, and clipping coupons is a great way to save at the store. Thanks to a Toronto app developer, those coupons can appear on your smartphone, no scissors required. Carmella Di Nardo’s basement is full of hundreds of items, all purchased with coupons. The avid couponer says she started using them two years ago after being laid off. Since then, she’s saved around $4,000 a year. But Di Nardo says it’s not always easy redeeming them at the till. “There’re coupons you can print online, but then there’s the issue that maybe they’ve been tampered with, maybe the amount has been changed.” Noah Godfrey, the founder of Checkout 51, agrees with Dinardo. “Couponing is hard work,” he says. “And we thought we could make it easier.” Checkout 51 is an app developed specifically for Canadian consumers that allows individuals to get cash back by purchasing specific products that appear on their phone each week. Godfrey explains. “When you’re done shopping, take out the app, snap a photo of the receipt, and once we verify you’ve purchased the products that were on offer, we credit your account. Once your account reaches $20, we send you a cheque.” The app launched in December. Since then, Godfrey says 100,000 people have signed up, and have saved $100,000 in the process. However, there are some limitations. The app can only be used on iPhones. Only a dozen or so products appear every week. There is also nothing stopping people from redeeming the cash, then returning the products. Godfrey says there are security systems in place to prevent app abuse. “We can actually tell trends for what people are submitting and for people who are over-redeeming or who are going through fraudulent behaviour.” Godfrey also says that so far, there have been no reported cases of fraud associated with Checkout 51. Couponer Carmella Di Nardo says she’s still not sure that will be enough to keep the app around. “Overuse of the app and some abuse of it will make it end. It’s too good to be true right now,” she says. Instead, she’ll continue to fill up her binder full of coupons as a way of cashing in on products. –1–

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  • Checkout 51 Introduces Couponing for the Digital Age

    main_160Waiting longer than usual in line at the grocery store, while mildly irritating, is nothing worth getting too worked up over. Rush hour waits, amateur cashiers and people stockpiling food as if there was an impending world disaster are all to be expected. Waiting for that person ahead to finish couponing, though, well that’s just inexcusable. At least now it is, thanks to a mobile app developed by Canadian entrepreneurs Noah Godfrey and Pema Hegan.

    Checkout 51 (available in the App Store for iPhone and soon for Android) is couponing for the digital age, simplifying the process of collecting and redeeming savings at the grocery store. Time = money, especially for young professionals, and this is a great opportunity to save on both.

    Over 180,000 members have already jumped on the Checkout bandwagon in three months; here’s how it works:

    1. Each week, Checkout 51 provides a new list of grocery product offers.
    2. Members use their phones while shopping to find the discount list, then purchase what they need at any store in Canada.
    3. You then use the app to take a photo of the receipt and click Send.
    4. Checkout 51 confirms the purchase and credits the member’s account.
    5. When a member’s account reaches $20, Checkout 51 will send a cheque (or you can choose to wait for larger amounts).

    “It’s more important than ever to save a few extra bucks each week; so we’ve brought the coupon into the mobile age,” says Checkout 51 Co-Founder Noah Godfrey (check out his Notable Young Entrepreneur profile from this morning here).

    In a time where paper trails are becoming obsolete, we couldn’t think of a better justification.


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  • Noah Godfrey: Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur

    main_161Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Noah Godfrey, who recognized a lack of innovation within the grocery shopping space and co-founded Checkout 51 to help shoppers save money on everyday purchases through his mobile app…

    Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
    I’m the Co-Founder Checkout 51, a mobile app that reinvents the coupon by allowing shoppers to get cash back simply by taking photos of their receipts. Checkout 51 works at any store in Canada, and the credit for select items automatically gets added to the shopper’s account.

    Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
    I built Checkout 51 because I love building companies and I saw the opportunity to innovate in a space that is in dire need of some innovation. Since the Coca-Cola Company issued the first coupon 125 years ago, coupons haven’t changed much. Shoppers have to do a lot of work to save money on groceries – clipping or printing, stuffing wallets, holding up checkout lines. Checkout 51 makes it easier to get discounts on peanut butter, toilet paper and everything else found in a grocery store.

    What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
    Best part of the day is seeing results. Consumers are overjoyed to save money on their everyday shopping and they tell us often. It’s also great to see and hear the reaction from brand managers at packaged goods companies who have fallen in love with how Checkout 51 can help their business.

    The most challenging part of the day is trying to fit everything in.

    Where do you see yourself in five years?
    I think I’ll still be running Checkout 51 in five years. I’m hoping it will be larger and more global by then. And I’ll have a lot more grey hairs.


    What does success look like to you?
    If I’ve changed the people and world around me for the better, that’s success.

    What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
    Selling my last company, GigPark.

    Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
    Don’t be an asshole – you’ll lose in the long run.

    Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
    I’m very close the Herbie Fund, a charity that my parents started in 1979 that brings children from around the world to The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto for life-saving or life-altering surgeries – surgeries that are not available to them in their home countries because of high costs and lack of medical expertise.

    I’m also the co-Chair of the SixPoints Jewish Venture Philanthropy Fund, which is a group of community leaders who pool their financial resources and business expertise to fund and support innovative non-profit organizations and help them achieve significant, sustainable impact. Through this fund, I’ve worked closest with Dani, a wonderful organization that creates opportunities for young adults with physical and/or cognitive challenges, helping them participate fully as valued members of the community and enjoy a meaningful and dignified quality of life.

    What to you is notable?
    My wife. My parents. And anyone who wakes up everyday and tries to make the world around them a better place.

    Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
    iPhone. And Checkout 51 is launching on Android soon so I’ll have one of those too.


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