Ever since Gorillas was founded in May 2020 by CEO Kağan Sümer, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the European start-up has become one of the most reliable go-to delivery service providers. Shipping groceries to customer’s doors with incredible speed and efficiency, Gorillas provides more than 2,000 essential items at retail prices for a delivery fee of just £1.80.
In just over a year, the company has expanded to more than 55 cities – including London, Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid, New York, Milan and Munich – and built more than 200 warehouses across nine countries with a team of 11,000+ diverse and inclusive riders.
We’re thrilled to partner with the delivery service this year for one of our biggest events to date, GAY TIMES Honours delivered by Gorillas, which which will honour queer people who have done incredible things over the past 12 months in the world of activism, music, drag, allyship, sport and more.
With electrifying sets from Rina Sawayama, The Blessed Madonna, RAYE, Baby Queen, KWAYE, Poppy Ajudha, ABSOLUTE, Jaguar and OUTHAUS, GAY TIMES Honours delivered by Gorillas will be a world-class, one-night-only event in the LGBTQ+ calendar.
In celebration of this exciting partnership with Gorillas, we’ve spoken with one of their riders, Salvatore Mancini, about his start at the “multi-ethnic” company, how it’s expanded in recent months and why it’s the “perfect place” to make ‘dreams come true’.
Hi Salvatore! Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
I come from Puglia, which is located in the south of Italy. I grew up living by the sea for almost all my life until I had this big dream to move to the UK. So after I graduated from law school, I decided to fly to England and here I am.
Has cycling always been an important part of your life?
I do love sports in general! Cycling in particular gives me a sense of freedom, where all my thoughts of the day just disappear in one journey. When I was little, I remember cycling in the countryside surrounded by olive groves, under the sun and the sound of the crickets!
How did you first hear about Gorillas?
Francesco, a friend of mine, suggested I should apply for a role at the company. After I did a bit of research on the business, I thought it would be a great idea to be part of this startup, as I love to take risks and develop within a young company.
And why did you want to be part of the Gorillas family?
I love possibilities and challenges, Gorillas is the perfect place to make those happen and perhaps make your dream come true. I really liked that you get put on a guaranteed minimum hours contract and there’s the opportunity to collect tips. The atmosphere with all the riders and warehouse workers is great, I’ve met so many interesting people working with the Gorillas team and it’s so exciting to be a part of such a new and fast-paced business.
What is the most rewarding part of working with the organisation?
Since April, I have been working for three different warehouses. I started in West London, before moving to Angel, and now I am finally in North London, specifically in Stoke Newington. Here, I have been recently promoted to Inventory Manager. In this circle of experience I had the great pleasure to meet a diverse group of people whom I am now proud to call my friends!
Gorillas is notable for its impressive quick delivery time – what’s your personal best?
It was under three minutes! The order was from the warehouse’s neighbour. The rider walked from the other side of the street! It’s unbelievable how fast it is growing. Now, I know personally all the families who are living in the area close to my workplace, more than my own neighbours!
How have you seen Gorillas expand and grow since you started in April?
The company is expanding each day more, and more. The amount of orders we are receiving is unbelievable. This is because people trust our services. In fact, one time we delivered an order in one minute!
The app brings together hundreds of diverse cyclists from different backgrounds. As an employee, what kind of working environment does this create?
Gorillas is a multi-ethnic company. It brings people from different countries together and this is just a magic way to have new ideas to improve the business!
You worked for Amnesty International for six years – can you tell me about your time there and what skills you acquired?
It was one of the most memorable experiences in my whole life, working as a volunteer for Amnesty International for six years. I did valuable, and varied experiences, of work in the field of human rights, death penalty, racism and LGBTQI, where I developed skills, knowledge and experience to speak in public and discuss all violations that Amnesty got involved in.
In 2015, you were elected to represent Apulia for the XXIX National General Assembly in Rome. What did this entail?
A huge responsibility. For three entire days, we discussed extremely delicate topics, analysed deeply the international regulations, agreements and voted for a final decision to express to the head office. After that, I had the honour of meeting a lot of professors from different universities involved in political affairs, heroes and heroines involved in defending human rights and refugees who were deprived of their lives.
What skills have you developed from your time at Gorillas that will benefit you in the next phase of your career?
Recently, I had the chance to work with the Gorillas ‘Customer Love’ team and every day we are thinking about how to better improve our service, and make ordering groceries an enjoyable experience. I have a box full of ideas that I would like to bring to the table. Now, my main aim is to find the best way to personalise every single order and surprise our customers.
GAY TIMES Honours delivered by Gorillas takes place 19 November at Magazine London. For more information on the event, including performers and how to get tickets, visit this link.