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On-demand convenience store launches in Columbus

Some of the categories of items sold on the goPuff app. Credit: Alyssa Werner | Lantern Reporter

A new on-demand convenience store, goPuff, offers students the ability to order from their mobile app or website. Launched Wednesday for Ohio State, goPuff offers the ability to choose from a variety of 3,000 items to have delivered in about 30 minutes.

goPuff was co-founded in 2013 by two graduates of Drexel University, Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola. goPuff will be open for delivery from noon to 4:30 a.m. every day. To mark their opening launch at Ohio State, all orders will come with a free pint of Ben and Jerry’s Half-Baked ice cream through next wednesday.

“goPuff is unique compared to other on-demand delivery services because we have warehouses in every city,” Ilishayev said. “This means faster delivery because goPuff does not depend on other stores to operate. We have the same prices as the convenience store and can deliver in under 30 minutes.”

The startup originally sold 50 basic products and has since expanded their company to be a full on-demand convenience store, even selling alcohol in some locations. goPuff has a delivery rate of $1.95 and orders over $49 have the delivery fee waived.

Of the 18 cities goPuff operates in, over half have an alcohol component as part of the app, either goBeer or goBooze. Ilishayev said the company has plans to expand goBeer or goBooze to OSU within the next two to three months. During this timeframe, the hours for the delivery service will be expanding as they ensure everything is good from an operational standpoint.

By the end of the year, Ilishayev and Gola plan to expand to 35 more cities.

“That is roughly a new city every 16 days,” Ilishayev said.

The idea for the startup first came about to Ilishayev and Gola when they were still completing their undergraduates in business.

“We were best friends and living in a six-person household, said Ilishayev. “We were the only ones with a car and were doing everything for our roommates. We realized that a company like ours is something that could be used by all millennials.”
goPuff will be open for delivery from noon to 4:30 a.m. every day. To mark their opening launch at Ohio State, all orders will come with a free pint of Ben and Jerry’s Half-Baked ice cream through Jan. 25.

Correction 1/20: In an earlier version of this story Rafael Ilishayev’s name was misspelled.

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