Ithaca College Quarterly 2005/1


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South Hill Today

Campus Life
Food on Demand

Park professor's business delivers groceries to students' rooms.

Groceries maven Adam Peruta

Why drive to the grocery store when you can get someone to do it for you, for free? That's the premise on which Adam Peruta's new online business, One Click Grocery, is built. All you have to do is go to a website, browse for your desired items, and choose a delivery time. Then, like magic, someone shows up at your door with bags of fresh groceries.

Peruta, a lecturer in the Park School who teaches courses in electronic commerce, and his two partners, Matthew Dacey and Matthew Duffley, met at Syracuse University, while he was a graduate student, through a business plan competition. Peruta says, "There were a lot of great synergies between us, so working together has been great." The three started as an online delivery operation for Syracuse last year and expanded this year. Students at Ithaca College and Cornell, as well as any student or non-student living within a five-mile radius of those campuses, can now use the delivery service.

"We saw a need for this service on many college campuses," Peruta says. "Many students don't have cars," making shopping tricky. And, he notes, students are not the only ones who use the service. "We have elderly and disabled customers in both our Ithaca and Syracuse locations."

One Click Grocery's shopping list of more than 7,000 products runs the gamut from fresh fruit to frozen food to personal care products and office supplies, such as deodorant and paper clips. Parents can also deposit funds into students' accounts electronically.

Jeffrey Scott, the director of dining services at Ithaca College, says he sees the potential for a mutually beneficial relationship with One Click Grocery. "It's a very intriguing concept," says Scott. "We know we probably won't be able to provide for every situation. In the long term, there could possibly be a connection between that [One Click Grocery] and our debit accounts."

Peruta says One Click is dedicated to giving back to the College community. His company employs Ithaca students as grocery shoppers, delivery drivers, and assistants for marketing and promotion.

Two of Peruta's students, Clare Browne '06 and Leanne Polachek '07, are marketing interns for One Click Grocery. Polachek says she enjoys the work and the autonomy it allows her: "Adam lets me head up projects, and we check in with him and collaborate with him to make sure I'm on the right track."

Adds Browne, "Interning at OCG has been a great experience. I'm getting to see what it is like to function as a part of a real business and also what kind of work goes along with it."

-- Jennifer Savran

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