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Credit to: Dollop

As someone who comes from a small town on Long Island, I am always thinking about the best ways to think local and shop local, especially when it comes to my foodie finds on the island of long or Manhattan where the options are endless.  I especially love when I can give my friends and family some delicious food to try in hopes that they will experience the location I just came from.  Well, as they say in the tech world, “there’s an app for that”, as I can introduce you to Dollop– an app that was created solely for NYC’s independent, artisanal food and wine shops.

Credit to: Dollop
Credit to: Dollop

Available in more than 35 independent shops in NYC, Dollop gives users an immediate and inexpensive way to do something nice for someone else and support local food and wine shops.

Dollop is the brainchild of Anne Jiao, a former entertainment executive who spent three years developing TV and film projects in Los Angeles.  Jiao’s light bulb moment happened when she was running late to a meeting at a coffee house in LA, and wished she could quickly and easily send a cup of coffee to the colleague she kept waiting.  “The idea of using technology to remotely put a latte or cupcake in a friend’s hands both humanizes the digital world and offers a personal touch in your absence,” says Jiao. “At a time when gifting is as virtual and impersonal as ever, Dollop makes it possible to turn a kind thought into immediate action.”

Credit to: Dollop
Credit to: Dollop

Here’s how it works:

To send a gift, a user starts by selecting an emoji—Dollop currently offers more than 20 fun, colorful graphics that represent everything from coffee, smoothies, and wine to ice cream, muffins, and panini—and an amount to gift, offered in increments of $4, $8, $12, and $16.

The selected emoji instantly appears in a text message or email (user preference) with a message to the recipient which can be user-personalized . The user simply enters credit card information—which Dollop securely saves—and hits SEND as they would regularly for a text or email. The gift is instantly sent to the recipient.

The recipient clicks on the Dollop gift link in a text, or the emoji in an email, and is prompted to download or open the app.

The recipient is presented with a list of Dollop retail partners—Manhattan- and Brooklyn-based specialty shops/restaurants where to redeem the gift. Once at the location, the recipient simply shows his/her phone to the cashier who quickly scans an on-screen badge. The payment is processed and the gifting process is complete.

Credit to: Dollop
Credit to: Dollop

Dollop is using technology in the most sentimental of ways—essentially turning a heartfelt but often time-consuming gesture into the quickest and simplest process imaginable.

For more information, check out their official site.