Taxis, Uber, Lyft. Personal transportation is at the forefront of many discussions taking place in Rochester recently. And while DMC, the city, and community leaders and advocates are dedicated to ensuring that transportation solutions support the growth of the city, those solutions will require more than the point-A-to-point-B services provided by the above options.
Enter Chamberlain, Rochester’s own unique but generally undiscovered transportation service that goes the extra mile for its customers.
Chamberlain is dedicated to providing black car transportation but has found that customers are looking for more. “They want a personal touch,” says owner Laura Elwood, so Chamberlain includes concierge and lifestyle management services as options for its guests. And, according to Elwood, serving those guests is the highlight of the Chamberlain story.
“We provide a luxury service that encompasses a lot of things,” she explains, “but most importantly, we develop a personal relationship with the people we serve.” Chamberlain fulfills made-to-order requests, whether it’s helping to develop travel itineraries or simply ensuring that a specific brand of water is available in the customer’s hotel room. In short, Chamberlain provides the “extras” that makes both local and out-of-town guests feel more at ease.
Elwood started Chamberlain only a year ago but has spent the majority of her life involved in the transportation industry. Her father owns R&S Transport, the Rochester-based staple in specialized transportation for more than 25 years.
But Elwood recognized a gap in the services available to customers in Rochester.
She was involved in DMC meetings long before she launched her business and developed a keen interest in the holistic approach being implemented to better serve Mayo Clinic patients while they were outside of the clinic walls. That interest, coupled with the knowledge that customers wanted a more tailored and individualized experience from their transportation provider, led Elwood to redesign the existing “black car” business model, and she set out to offer her guests the unique, quality experience they desire.
“Every day is different,” Elwood says of her woman-owned startup.
Chamberlain’s client list ranges from individuals seeking personalized transportation to local organizations that want to provide their own customers with a better overall experience while they are in Rochester. “We work very closely with our corporate clients to ensure their customers have a positive experience in our city.”
Elwood sees the parallel momentum between the growing DMC initiative and the growth of her own business. “There is a lot of opportunity in Rochester right now for people with the right niche,” she says.
As a lifelong resident, she’s witnessed the progress firsthand.