By Shen Wu Tan
“Ready…set…go!” Matthew Cochran yelled excitedly as he raced toward the entrance of his North Shore apartment. Eager to relax after a busy morning of deliveries, a wide grin stretched across his face as his plaid jacket flapped behind him.
For months, Cochran has successfully managed a Chicago-based vending and delivery business, YIKES! Beverages Where You Want Them, in spite of his developmental disability.
Every Tuesday morning, Cochran and his Clearbrook job coach, Colin Drozdoff, fill and stack a rolling cart with Coca-Cola products from the storage unit behind his apartment.
Next, they load a car trunk with a wide range of beverages – soda, tea, bottled water, and sport and energy drinks – and drive to various locations to stock vending machines and office break rooms.
Cochran’s love of soda, money and community involvement all spur his entrepreneurial motivation and spirit. Described as a social butterfly by Drozdoff, Cochran’s giddy, outgoing personality is infectious and “impossible to not smile” at. Eager to socialize, Cochran actively engages with community members through his YIKES! delivery business.
Cochran made his first delivery for YIKES! on Dec. 14, 2014. The company name was inspired by the beloved Scooby-Doo signature exclamation “Yikes!”
The 29-year-old, a graduate of New Trier High School’s special education program, started the business with the help of a microboard staffed by his friends and family.