Want to Help Local Restaurants? GoPuff Now Makes it Easy to Order Philly-Made Food
The snack delivery company has turned to delivering fresh, local food products — which is good news for all of us.
A year ago, GoPuff was the app I opened on cold, rainy nights when I absolutely required a six-pack of beer, a bag of Takis and a pint of ice cream and I absolutely could not bring myself to leave the house.
Yesterday, though, I opened the app to stock up on locally made bagels, hummus from one of Philly’s biggest names, and a half dozen fresh donuts. There’s no question that GoPuff, the Philadelphia-based company that made its name supplying late-night snacks to college kids is growing up. As I scooped Dizengoff hummus into my mouth, I wondered: Is GoPuff the answer to some of Philadelphia restaurants’ biggest questions?
GoPuff’s model works like this: When a customer places an order, their items are gathered in a warehouse and given to a delivery driver who brings it to their home. The company purchases like a grocery store — even their freshly made products are dropped off daily or several times a week. It’s different from a food delivery company, which typically places a takeout order like any other customer.
This difference is key. Operating like a grocery store allows companies like Kismet Bagels or Dizengoff to plan ahead for how much they need to produce, instead of waiting for individual customers to order. It’s no secret that most delivery apps are killing restaurants. They take huge cuts from small businesses, force restaurants into parasitic relationships, and train consumers that the price of convenience is far smaller than it truly is. GoPuff, by contrast, operates like any other wholesale buyer: purchasing a set number of bagels or pints of hummus at a fair, agreed upon price and then reselling those items to their own customers. With these local food partnerships, GoPuff is supporting businesses and bringing customers convenient food options.
For Kismet Bagel owners Alexandra and Jacob Cohen, partnering with GoPuff has been on their radar since the very beginning of their company.
“Someone from the tech department at GoPuff came to our very first pop-up, back in May of 2020,” Jacob said. “They reached out right after and asked us if we’d be interested in being on the platform.” At the time, they were nowhere near the capacity they would need to be to sell for wholesale, but the offer stuck in their heads and as they grew, they stayed in touch with the company. When they moved into their current space, which allowed them to more than triple their production in just a few weeks, they knew they were ready, and they reached out to GoPuff.
“It’s been amazing,” Jacob said. “We factored them in as we expanded, trying to figure out what we would need to do to be able to get to the point where we could work with them. They’ve been amazing to work with, and we’re continuing to discuss doing different products and more products with them.”
For now, customers can find any local offerings on GoPuff’s Philly Local Favorites page — Philly’s includes lots of companies that have long been distributing nationally, like La Colombe and Victory Brewing, but it also has Famous 4th Street Cookie boxes, Federal Donuts, Severino Pasta and more.
This particular pivot from GoPuff opens up a huge number of possibilities. GoPuff is, in many ways, more adaptable than a grocery store — they’re both much smaller (serving only specific zip codes out of each warehouse) and much larger (the number of zip codes, which span the United States, seems to be growing every day). Offering their logistic ability to up-and-coming food businesses would give these small companies access to a much larger, and much more regular market. The Philly restaurants we’d love to see join their marketplace are endless, but GoPuff, if you’re reading, I’d like to see Weckerly’s ice creams, Fiore Fine Foods pastries, and perhaps Neighborhood Ramen’s soup kits ASAP, just to name a few.