Convenience shouldn’t be a luxury.
That’s the thinking behind goPuff, an on-demand delivery service with Philadelphia and Main Line roots that promises to bring anything from a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Totinos Pizza Rolls to paper towels and extension cords to your doorstep in under 30 minutes.
GoPuff, the brainchild of Drexel University alums Yakir Gola and Rafael Ilishayev, launched in 2013 in Center City. Since then, the startup has expanded to 24 service locations, including Manayunk and parts of the Main Line.
The company’s Manayunk location, which operates out of a warehouse on Ridge Avenue in Wissahickon, opened at the beginning of the year and covers Roxborough, Manayunk, East Falls, Bala Cynwyd, Merion Station, Narberth and Ardmore. Unsurprisingly, the service is extremely popular among students at Saint Joseph’s University, Haverford College and Philadelphia University.
What sets GoPuff apart from competitors like UberEats and GrubHub is that the company owns all of the inventory that it sells, allowing it to cut down on cost and delivery time. And unlike UberEats and GrubHub, GoPuff is offering more than just food. The roughly 3,000 products that they sell include everything from snacks and school supplies to medicine, pet food and other household staples.
“At this point, delivery services are a dime a dozen,” says Jake Levin, the company’s marketing director. “The problem that we’re solving is that there’s really no other delivery service bringing you the daily essentials that you might need right to your door.”
Levin, who grew up in Bala Cynwyd, was GoPuff’s second employee. He’s been friends with Gola since they were students at Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy in Bryn Mawr. Despite the fact that they ended up going to different colleges, they stayed in touch, and six months after GoPuff was launched, Levin was brought on board.
“Working with friends is a lot of fun,” says Levin. “It can be challenging at times, but the fact that we get to run this company in the direction that we want is amazing. I love every day of it.”
Despite the company’s tongue-in-cheek marketing tactics and popularity among college students, the service isn’t just for millennials. Levin says that people of all ages are starting to utilize GoPuff.
“We know that the value of our services is going to bring people from all different demographics. We have young families ordering, moms who can’t leave their children at home,” he adds.
While they don’t have official plans to expand further into the Main Line yet, Levin says it’s something that they would want to do in the future.
“It’s definitely something that we’re looking at, because Philadelphia is where we started, and the Philadelphia region is somewhere that we’ve found great success in,” he says.
In the meantime, the company is going to keep doing what they do best—making on-demand delivery more accessible. GoPuff’s prices are similar to those at stores like Wawa and CVS, plus a delivery fee of $1.95, which is waived if an order is over $49. With prices like that, they may just become the convenience store of the future.
“Our goal was to go out there and create a service that was affordable for people and convenient for them,” says Levin. “You shouldn’t have to give an arm and a leg for a pint of ice cream or some toilet paper.”