By Ethan Millman
Los Angeles Times
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The idea with “Lotus Trolley Bags” is to speed up the grocery packing process by allowing the bags to hang from the grocery cart, accordion-file style.
Los Angeles Times
Farzan and Jen Dehmoubed, a husband-and-wife team from Carlsbad, are the founders of Lotus Trolley Bags. The company and its product, marketed as a sustainable and convenient alternative to plastic bags, were born out of necessity.
After California became the first state to ban single-use plastic bags in 2016, the Dehmoubeds jumped on the opportunity to supply shoppers with a new way to pack their groceries.
The product is popular online, currently sitting on the Amazon’s Choice list at $35 for a four-bag set, but shoppers also can get the bags at Vons, Safeway and Ralphs grocery stores in California. The company is in talks to offer the bags at Whole Foods and Target stores in California as well, and the Dehmoubeds are finalizing a deal with TV shopping network giant QVC.
The idea is to speed up the grocery packing process by allowing the bags to hang from the grocery cart, accordion-file style. But the Lotus adds a few unique design elements to its patent, including egg and wine holders along with an insulated bag for cold items.
Before the bags
Farzan, from Toronto, received his master’s degree in marketing from Macquarie University in Sydney, while Jen, who grew up in Maryland, got a degree in dietetics from the University of Maryland. Before starting their bag company, Farzan ran a marketing company and Jen was a teacher.
A part-time project
The Dehmoubeds weren’t expecting Lotus to become a full-time job. Starting the company as a small, part-time project, the couple expected their first shipment in 2017 to sell out in three months; they ran out of the 5,000 bag sets in two weeks.