It’s been over five years since East Quogue native Danielle Candela founded her own business, Tote Taxi, a luxury courier service designed for those traveling to and from Manhattan to the Hamptons. The entrepreneur currently splits her time between the city and Southampton and is diving into a new enterprise this summer for Montauk visitors.
Every Sunday, all day long, all summer long, Tote Taxi will be offering a bag check out of one of their luxury vans slated to be parked at The Surf Lodge on Edgemere Street, about a one minute car ride away from Montauk’s train station.
“Surf Lodge has notoriously had a lot of problems with their guests’ bags because it’s always so crowded and it’s so small,” Candela says. “It’s been a bag burden,” she laughs, adding, “so we decided to have a bag check, not unlike the idea of a coat check.”
Bag checks will be available on Sundays, with one of Tote Taxi’s luxury vans parked at the restaurant/hotel/lounge, according to a press release. The cost will be $10 per bag and is available to all Montauk visitors, not just guests of the Surf Lodge. “It’s the perfect options for visitors with an early check out who don’t want the hassle of carrying their bags around Montauk with them all day,” a Tote Taxi press release says.
Candela herself is no stranger to the struggles of traveling with multiple parcels. She originally conjured up the idea for the business after traveling back and forth herself between Manhattan and her family’s East End home on most of her weekends.
“I was always schlepping my bags,” she says. “I would have my laptop in my big purse, plus my luggage, while being sardined into a subway, then running for a Jitney.”
It wasn’t long before Candela realized she wasn’t alone when it came to needing help with transporting luggage and personal items the 100 or so miles from the city to the Hamptons. “I realized there are so many of us that are doing this,” she says, “and there wasn’t an industry for it, so I created one.”
That was back in 2018 when she initially founded Tote Taxi, offering door-to-door delivery service for people’s personal luggage and items. Candela has acquired thousands of clients over the years, with non-luggage items running the gamut from golf clubs and pelotons to baby cribs and beach toys. The à la carte service has a $250 delivery minimum (that usually includes about three suitcases) when traveling from NYC to the Hamptons. Tote Taxi also offers what’s called “mini moves” for families that need to move anywhere between 15 and 60 pieces.
“This is a less labor intensive, seamless, easy solution,” she says.
For a full list of services offered by Tote Taxi, click here.
Tote Taxi’s fleet includes two Mercedes Benz Sprinters for its courier services and staffs seven drivers who also use their own personal vehicles for moves. Candela and her team also offer luggage delivery from the city to LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy, and Newark Liberty International Airports. Since its inception, Candela has partnered with other Hamptons-focused businesses, most notably Blade, a helicopter and jet charter company making multiple trips between Manhattan and the Hamptons daily during the summer months. In 2021, Candela tapped into the Palm Beach scene, extending her services from NYC to South Florida during the winter months. At the end of the day, it’s all about keeping it easy for her thousands of clients, with plenty returning as repeat customers since she started up.
“I had this one client where we brought his son’s bike out east,” she says. “And he was so thrilled because his son was finally able to learn how to ride a bike. I really like that. I have a lot of people that book year after year. You get to know how and what they pack, you see their faces. You make their lives easier. And I really like that it’s family friendly.”
For more information or to book a delivery, email [email protected] or call 631-595-5100.