Business wants to deliver beer, convenience items to Dayton doorsteps

A company that delivers convenience store products to customers’ doorsteps has taken a step closer to being able to sell beer in Dayton.

Philadelphia-based goPuff delivers snacks, drinks, alcohol, candy, smoke products, condoms and household essentials to people who place orders using a mobile app or the company's website.

The company, which operates in more than 30 cities, says it charges a flat $1.95 delivery fee and fulfills orders at most hours of the day.

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On Monday, the Downtown Dayton Priority Land Use Board unanimously recommended supporting GoBrands Inc.’s liquor permit application for retail beer sales in the city. GoBrand does business as goPuff.

It operates in Philadelphia, Seattle, Atlanta, Phoenix, Chicago, Cleveland, Portland, Austin, Denver, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh.

“I’m shocked they are coming to Dayton — but in a positive way,” said Dave Beddow, a land use board member.

The company also operates in smaller cities that are home to major colleges, including Morgantown, W.Va. (home to West Virginia University), College Park, Md. (University of Maryland), Blacksburg, Va. (Virginia Tech), and Athens, Ohio (Ohio University).

The service seems like it would be wildly popular among college students and young adults, board members said.

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GoBrands operates a warehouse from which its products are ordered online and delivered by its employees, similar to Amazon’s business model, said Marc Myers, an attorney with the law firm Haynes Kessler Myers & Postalakis.

There is no physical store location people can visit, but goPuff has a warehouse just south of downtown.

GoBrands has 17 locations that sell alcohol nationwide, including Columbus, and it has never had any liquor violations, Myers said.

Alcohol sales represent a small share of Go Brands overall sales, Myers said. In Columbus, alcohol represents about 7.5 percent of its sales, he said. The company requires purchasers of alcohol to provide ID.

Other goPuff products include munchies (candy, pretzels, jerky, chips, etc.); eats (hot dogs, pizza bagels, noodles, bread); essentials (toothpaste, soap, razors, cold medicine) and “sexy time” items (sex toys, edible underwear, emergency contraceptives).

The company’s delivery area includes the greater downtown area, the University of Dayton campus area and parts of Oakwood.

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