In 2017, Cardia Summers was living his dream career as a US soldier. But after having a few too many drinks and taking a chance behind the wheel, he lost his future with the Army. So, he decided to open a business that could save people from making the same mistakes as him.
The Army Ranger served two tours in Afghanistan and was named NCO and soldier of the year twice. Summers planned on retiring with his uniform, just like his father. And with a list of distinctions, he was on the right track. But that plan abruptly came to an end when he was on leave in Italy. During a party with his army buddies, he offered to head to the store after running out of liquor. But instead of getting back to the celebration, he was caught driving under the influence.
Because of the mark on his record, he knew he couldn’t advance in the military. So in 2019, he chose an honorable discharge.
Former Special Operations Army Ranger Opens New Business To Help New Yorkers Party Responsibly
Summers was in his junior year at Columbia University when he became a civilian again. Fresh out of the Army and studying financial economics, he was back to square one. So, he came up with a business plan that would serve as a career of “redemption.”
He opened an alcohol delivery service in New York City. The army vet hoped an affordable service would take away the temptation to drink and drive. And maybe, he could stop someone else from making a life-altering decision. Because if he’d had the option all those years ago, his path would have been much different.
“For me, it’s preventing someone from doing something as detrimental as I did,” he told the New York Post. “I could have lost my life—or, worse, taken a life.”
So, Summers took a break from school and turned down a high-paying job with a veteran-owned investment bank—and he decided to take a chance on Cheer. But his choice to become an entrepreneur wasn’t about the money. “If it was [about money], I wouldn’t have left an Ivy League school and six-figure Wall Street job,” he added.
His app-based business, which should launch next month, will only charge a $2.99 delivery fee. If that’s not convenient enough, users will have orders sitting on their doorsteps within all five NTC boroughs in just an hour. Summers also hopes to expand Cheers by bringing the service to major sports games. His employees will bring bottles right to fans’ seats.
Cardia Summers told the NYP that if he can help New York residents have fun responsibly, he’ll feel like his business is a success.