In Their Own Words: Interview with Alex Torrey, Co-Founder of The Rounds
Thursday August 5, 2021
Our mission is to make Mount Vernon Triangle a welcoming, inclusive place for all members of our community, which is why we share interviews with some of our local business owners on why they chose to become and remain a part of #LifeinMVT. The Rounds co-founder Alex Torrey tells us about his decision to bring this zero-waste delivery service to our area in this edition of “In Their Own Words.”
MVT CID: We’re very excited to welcome you to MVT! First, what can you tell us about why you helped co-found The Rounds, and what do you hope to achieve?
Alex: I’ve lived in apartments in city centers, including DC, without a car for almost a decade. The experience of shopping for the boring stuff you use every day really sucks. I ordered stuff online and received a box the size of my kitchen table for a bottle of hand soap. I opened the box, pulled out the soap, swapped it out on my sink, and then threw away the old bottle. There’s nothing “wrong” with the pump bottle, other than it’s empty. I did the math. What if everyone in my 500-unit apartment was doing the same? What if everyone in the five apartment buildings I could see from my apartment was doing the same too?
That’s a lot of packaging waste and I was convinced there must be a better way. I became obsessed with figuring out how to scale a closed loop supply chain that is truly zero waste and that would also be a great solution for multi-family property managers.
MVT CID: What attracted you to the Mount Vernon Triangle area, and as a relative newcomer to the community, what are you learning as you settle in?
Alex: The neighborhood is bustling and centralized with easy access to the city, with some really nice protected bicycle lanes for our e-bike delivery model. We are excited to meet our multi-family residential building neighbors!
MVT CID: As many businesses and residents are eager to minimize their carbon footprint, what can you tell us about the interest and feedback you’re receiving from members of our community?
Alex: Modern consumers everywhere want sustainable convenience, we know there is no “planet b,” but our neighbors here have been exceptionally passionate about sustainability. On average, our members reduce their waste by 50 pounds per year and that number will grow as we continue to increase our product offerings.
MVT CID: Is there anything you’d like to share with us about The Rounds and what you think sustainability looks like in MVT and the District moving forward?
Alex: Our mission is to make everyday sustainable choices effortless. We’re focused on making sustainability convenient and convenience sustainable, for greener neighborhoods and happier neighbors. I hope we see more deliveries via e-bike, reducing carbon emissions and the precious bike lane space that delivery trucks increasingly block. Plus, we’re building some really cool autopilot technology to manage the inventory of the staple products you use every day. Our autopilot algorithm predicts when you’ll need a refill based on learning your individual household’s usage. That’s the greener and more convenient future we imagine!
The Rounds is located at 460 K Street NW. Visit therounds.co to learn more and sign up for their delivery service.
The Rounds co-founders Alex Torrey (left) and Byungwoo Ko