BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Oct. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Parents and caregivers of special needs children are a step closer to being able to include their child in the shopping experience as Caroline's Cart®, the first grocery cart to ever be specifically designed for special needs children, has shipped to grocers in seven states.
The much-anticipated cart was designed by stay at home mom, Drew Ann Long of Alabaster, Alabama, to address unique challenges faced when shopping with a child with special needs. www.carolinescart.com
"We are thrilled that Caroline's Cart is finally reaching the consumer and providing a solution to a problem that keeps special needs kids away from the grocery store and excluded from the family shopping experience," said Rebel Negley, chief executive officer of Parent Solution Group, Inc and Caroline's Cart. "Grocers placing these first orders for Caroline's Cart are ahead of the curve and will garner incredible brand loyalty from the special needs community and those sympathetic to this issue."
"Grocery stores providing Caroline's Carts to their customers will be sought after by members of the special needs community," said Caroline's Cart founder, Drew Ann Long. "Helping families like mine and millions of others across the U.S. be able to shop with their child is an important milestone in establishing a level playing field for special need children."
Long also said that the company is getting calls from grocers, home improvement stores, general merchandisers and commissaries from all over the world, inquiring about Caroline's Cart. Parents of children with special needs are asking their local grocers and retailers to provide the carts, fueling the demand and driving sales.
Belle Foods http://belle-foods.com/ has purchased Caroline's Cart for three of its Alabama locations and has implemented a valet service where parent or caregiver can call ahead to reserve a cart and have it delivered to a designated area in the parking lot for the shoppers convenience and accessibility.
Other grocers who received carts last week are Hy-Vee, Urbandale, Iowa, McDades Market, Jackson, Miss., Price Chopper, North Windsor, VT, Middletown N.Y., and Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Reasor's, Bixby, Okla., and Sunset Foods, Northbrook, Ill.
Caroline's Cart's are also in internal testing with major retailers across the country,
ABOUT CAROLINE'S CART
Caroline's Cart, was invented by Drew Ann Long, a stay-at-home Mom from Alabaster, Alabama, when she could no longer fit her special needs daughter Caroline into the traditional grocery cart provided by stores where she shopped. The first shopping cart ever designed specifically for special needs children, Caroline's Cart™ is now available for purchase by grocers, home improvement and general merchandise retailers in the U.S.
Drew Ann and David Long's journey began in 2000 when daughter Caroline was born with multiple disabilities. Drew Ann discovered that as Caroline got older, it became harder to place her into a traditional grocery cart and nearly impossible to maneuver a cart and her wheelchair. Read their story: www.carolinescart.com and see the video of Caroline in her cart here: http://tinyurl.com/9t7urkr
Drew Ann's frustration turned to innovation in 2008, when she sketched out the cart she imagined and began searching the internet to learn about grocery cart manufacturers. She
identified Indesign, an engineering design firm in Indianapolis, IN, to develop the cart prototype and retained legal counsel to file national and international patents.
"I was frustrated," said Drew Ann. "Parents have access to amusement carts designed to look like miniature cars, and people with limited mobility can drive through the store in a motorized cart with wheels. However, as a mom who has to shop several times a week to provide food for my family, I had no way to shop with my disabled child, but that's about to change."
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SOURCE Caroline's Cart