By Ginger DeShaney
We all know Santa Claus delivers gifts on Christmas Eve. But in the Boston area, Santa has expanded his job description to include delivering trees.
Santa Trees Boston, run by Robert Harrington and Dan Brett, 2018 Boston College graduates, allows you to order a tree online for delivery to your house.
They’ve been thinking about this venture since college and made it a reality this year. Robert and Dan, both 24, were off-campus roommates at BC. “We carried the tree to the house and thought, ‘There has to be a better way,’ ” said Robert, a native of Virginia. “We thought this would be a fun thing, and the Santa suits are an added bonus.”
They did their research and found that a similar program was successful in other cities, including Chicago. “We added the Santa suits,” Robert said.
Dan, a software engineer, and Robert, a derivatives broker, quit their jobs in June to create two startups. They’d been discussing working together for a while. “While we’re young, we thought we’d give it a shot,” Dan said.
- Markitplace (https://www.markitplace.io/) works with scheduled food delivery companies to provide the widest array of food options. Their partners deliver fresh food products straight to the customer, who can be assured their money goes toward a small business in the community.
- Dan Harrington (https://www.danharringtondrink.com/) works with local bars, restaurants, and independent mixologists to bring craft cocktail mixers and kits to customers. Each purchase helps support a business and bartender impacted by COVID-19.
“[Santa Trees Boston] is a great way to make extra cash and have fun doing it,” said Dan, a Maine native.
To order a tree, go to https://www.santatreesboston.com/ and select your preferences: size range, specific requests (tall and skinny, fatter tree), delivery range. Dan and Robert get the tree for you from their tree farm partners in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
“Santa Trees is committed to sourcing trees from small and family-owned farms, reducing CO2 from our transportation, and supporting the local economy,” the website states.
You can also select if you want lights and a tree stand. The duo are scouting local businesses for these items. “We want to keep everything local,” said Dan.
Once the order is made, Robert and Dan will be in touch with customers regarding delivery. They can bring the tree in the house and put it in a stand (if the customer is comfortable with that) or they can leave it outside.
Santa Trees also offers tree disposal after the holidays.
Dan and Robert, who both live in Brookline, already have a handful of orders. They will start delivering trees the day after Thanksgiving.
Dan loves the fun and family that surround Christmas. “I love the whole spirit of it.”
In 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been a challenging and frustrating year. “This is a fun thing to do,” Dan said.
Dan and Robert know that Santa Trees Boston will dominate their lives for the next two months, but they will maintain their startups.
“We wanted to see if Santa Trees could be successful and if it could be something to keep doing year over year,” Dan said.
Right now, the plan is to transport the trees in their personal vehicles, but if they get enough orders, they may spring for a truck.
To get the word out about the business, Robert and Dan are reaching out to local media, relying on word of mouth, and displaying signs featuring their website on overpasses on Storrow Drive — in full Santa gear. They will also be doing grassroots and Facebook advertising.
Follow Santa Trees Boston on Instagram @SantaTreesBoston.
Their website is https://www.santatreesboston.com/