NEW YORK - A grocery order has come in, and Pierce, a shopper, has just minutes to fill it and get it delivered. It almost seems like an episode of Supermarket Sweep, but it's actually the business model for a new grocery delivery startup.
"Fridge No More is a new generation of groceries. It's instant delivery from our own warehouses," said Pavel Danilov, one of the startup's co-founders.
Fridge No More promises hyper-local grocery delivery in 15 minutes or less, with no minimums and no delivery fees. Customers can opt to tip delivery persons.
The company launched in October and is currently in Park Slope, Williamsburg, and Gowanus in Brooklyn. Danilov said he and his co-founder came up with the idea long before the pandemic hit, modeling it on a European business, but the timing worked out well for them.
"COVID helped us to speed up business development and raise money, raise investments for our business," Danilov said.
It was also a chance to tap into a booming grocery delivery market at a time when people were going out less and eating home more.
"There has definitely been a shift of customer behavior over the last 12 months," Danilov said, adding he expected customers to continue using the service after the pandemic has subsided.
"I think when customers try out service, they will stick with it," he said.
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The company is able to meet its 15-minute delivery promise by serving only a one-mile radius from each of its warehouse locations. Customers order via an app. Deliveries are made by e-scooter and bike.
Since launching, Fridge No More has grown to about 1,000 orders a week, and more than 35 full-time employees, Danilov said.
The company plans to expand rapidly, with a location in Manhattan by May. Danilov said the goal is to be in 40 neighborhoods across Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan within 12 months.