Eric Wang

Elm City residents will now be able to have grocery and convenience store items delivered to them at the touch of a button — and at almost any time of day.

Philadelphia-based tech company goPuff has launched a warehouse in New Haven, where they will stock more that 2,000 convenience store and grocery items available for delivery in the city from noon to 4:20 a.m., with a flat delivery fee of $1.95, seven days a week.

“goPuff’s mission is to create more time in the day for our customer by consistently redefining the very meaning of convenience to provide a high-quality experience at an exceptional value,” Rafael Ilishayev, one of goPuff’s co-founders, said in a recent press release. “We’re thrilled to bring that experience to New Haven and deliver the moments that matter most to this vibrant community.”

goPuff, founded in 2013 by Yakir Gola and Ilishayev while they were students at Drexel University, is an on-demand convenience delivery service that operates across the country. Users can order items via the goPuff app or website and can receive a variety of goods including snacks, drinks, household items, pet needs and toiletries. Select locations will also deliver beer, wine, and spirits, as well as over-the-counter drugs and sexual health items such as condoms and Plan B pills. The release did not specify the range of items that will be delivered in New Haven.

According to the press release, customers in New Haven who sign up for a goPuff account and place an order of at least $9 by March 3 will receive a complimentary pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

Two Yalies interviewed by the News expressed their excitement regarding goPuff’s arrival in the Elm City.

Jacob Rhee ’21 has been using goPuff since he attended high school in New York City. The company offers late-night delivery service all over the island.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people at Yale talking about how they wished CVS or Walgreens would deliver,” Rhee told the News. “Late-night food delivery is great, but some nights it isn’t food you need delivered — and those nights, it feels like goPuff solves all of your problems.”

goPuff is different from other food-delivery systems, such as Uber Eats, Doordash and Grubhub, because goPuff eliminates the need for a third party. It delivers directly from its warehouses.

While they were students at Drexel, Gola and Illishayev were fed up with having to make so many trips to the convenience store to get cups, drinks and snacks for parties. As a potential solution, they began drafting a business plan for goPuff.

Gola and Illishayev began hand-delivering items to students around their campus out of the back of their Plymouth Voyager. Only five years later, goPuff is operating in over sixty unique locations with a team of over five hundred employees. The company’s co-founders were listed on the Forbes “30 Under 30: Retail and Ecommerce” list in 2017. Later that year, they were named Target Magazine’s “Target Marketer of the Year.”

“We don’t charge crazy surge pricing because we’re not a courier service, and because we deliver direct instead of picking it up from the store, we deliver fast,” goPuff’s website states. “Our customers are ditching the convenience store to get it goPuffed.”

GoPuff’s mascot is a Pufferfish named Puff.

Caroline Moore | caroline.moore@yale.edu