Navarr Grevious and Mikael Pyles met at Clark Atlanta University years ago. Now, the pair have become the first Black men to launch an alcohol marketplace app.

By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer,
Report for America Corps Member,

Business partners Navarr Grevious and Mikael Pyles consider themselves brothers. Blood wouldn’t make them any closer, and their brotherhood has become their secret weapon to entrepreneurial success. 

The duo met in college while attending Clark Atlanta University and happened to pledge Kappa Alpha Psi, the second oldest existing historically Black Greek Letter Fraternity, at the same time. 

As line brothers, they realized they had a lot in common. They shared similar work ethics, Type A personalities and a knack for leadership. Grevious and Pyles were even their fraternity’s vice polemarch and polemarch respectively. 

Shortly after they graduated in 2011, the brothers shared a new interest: entrepreneurship. At the time, Grevious worked for Deloitte as an auditor and Pyles was a financial analyst at Target, but they both desired something other than working in the corporate world.  

After finding time to talk over the phone, Grevious told Pyles about his idea for an on-demand alcohol company that would deliver beer, wine and spirits straight to your doorstep, much like other food delivery services.  

The line went silent. 

“He dropped the phone, and I didn’t notice at the time. I’m like, ‘Hello? Hello?’ He picks the phone back up, and he’s like, ‘I literally had the same exact idea as you,’ so it was truly divine intervention in 2011,” said Grevious. “From that moment, we hit it running.” 

Navarr Grevious and Mikael Pyles met at Clark Atlanta University years ago. Now, the pair have become the first Black men to launch an alcohol marketplace app.

Grevious and Pyles started the LLC for QuikLiq, a tech-forward digital marketplace that provides patrons with access to wine, beer and liquor from local alcohol retailers. 

The company launched in the Greater Miami Area, and in Florida, alcohol delivery did not become legal until 2018. Thus, the budding entrepreneurs spent years saving money to bootstrap the business, research the market and perfect their business model. 

In 2020, QuikLiq became fully operational. The platform started as a basic website with a phone number, and now the business partners have launched the first Black-owned alcohol marketplace app. 

QuikLiq primarily partners with small independent liquor stores to deliver alcohol and mixers to customers’ doorsteps in 45 minutes. 

“We call them the B and C level liquor stores. They don’t have a marketing presence, and they don’t have alcohol delivery services, so we’re allowing them to sell their inventory on our platform, which is generating huge profits for them as well,” said Grevious.  “It’s been a blessing for us to see them grow, as well as see us grow.”

While the pandemic caused hardships for many other businesses, Grevious and Pyles saw QuikLik grow during COVID-19. More people opted for delivery services as opposed to in-person to protect themselves from the virus, and QuikLik’s partnering liquor stores depended on the platform for their survival. 

Recently, QuikLiq forged a partnership with online food ordering company DoorDash to fortify its delivery fleet. The platform still intends to leverage other delivery drivers, including those from its partnering liquor stores, but the DoorDash collaboration will allow Grevious and Pyles to scale QuikLiq nationwide more rapidly.

Soon, QuikLiq will expand into South and West Florida in cities including Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Clearwater, and in June, the on-demand alcohol delivery company will launch in Atlanta, Georgia. 

“Despite all obstacles, we have a formidable business, we have a customer base, we have investors and shareholders, we have media traction. It’s just amazing that in a country where we need to see more Black and Brown founders being represented, we are a part of that change,” said Pyles. “To be a part of that empowerment is an honor.”

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