For college students living through a pandemic, food delivery is a must. Some may be too stoned to go pick up their own munchies, and many may see food delivery as a safer option as opposed to going into a store for dine-in or pickup. Either way, people usually first turn to DoorDash, Uber Eats or Postmates when they want something delivered. But for residents of Northern Colorado, there is actually another option.
Noco Nosh Delivery is an independent food delivery service located in Fort Collins, Boulder, Greeley and Loveland. The delivery app serves independent restaurants in these cities; specifically, giving these restaurants delivery business without having to be on the bigger apps.
Between the three cities, Nosh delivers food for 210 restaurants, and they’ll soon be expanding into Windsor to serve even more customers and eateries.
In Fort Collins, customers can have food delivered from even their favorite small spots in Old Town, like Chick’nCone, Old Town Churn or Mary’s Mountain Cookies. Missing the taste of Spoons from on campus? Nosh has got you covered.
Anyone in the local area can download the app, input if they want pickup or delivery, and enter what time they want their food. Nosh drivers will get food delivered to customers as soon as possible or customers can pick it up from the restaurant themselves. The app is fairly simple to use and operates like many other food delivery apps.
Nosh Delivery opened in May of 2019, with business growing at a steady pace until the pandemic hit and “changed the game of food delivery,” says Nicki Bartolone, director of operations. “Our sales increased quite a bit,” she says. But through summer of 2020 and the beginning of the school year, sales decreased as some COVID-19 restrictions loosened up and people began dining outside at restaurants rather than ordering delivery.
In December, Nosh partnered with the City of Fort Collins to help the restaurants. Nosh charges the restaurants a commission rate, which the City paid off for the month of December to keep local businesses thriving in a time where so many of them were at risk of closing.
Nosh doesn’t just support local restaurants, it also gives people in the local cities jobs.
“All of our employees are on-the-ground in Northern Colorado,” Bartolone says. “The other [delivery apps] outsource out to other countries, states, etc.”
Bartolone says the best part about Nosh is that it keeps money in the community.
The people that work customer service at Nosh live in Northern Colorado or Boulder, and they know the restaurants and areas. They care about the community, people and restaurants, a quality that Bartolone says separates Nosh Delivery from other delivery platforms.
“All of our employees are on-the-ground in Northern Colorado.” — Nicki Bartolone, Nosh director of operations
Other delivery platforms with customer service bases all over the world can’t always fix an order if an issue arises, and the best they can do is offer a refund. If an issue happens with a Nosh delivery, customers won’t just be issued a refund because “you can’t eat a refund,” Bartolone jokes. They’ll fix the issue and make sure people get their food. “Our stance is making it right,” Bartolone says.
40 restaurants in Northern Colorado are invested in Nosh Delivery, including Walrus Ice Cream, Big City Burrito and Wing Shack.
Despite the app’s recent growth through the pandemic, Bartolone says the app still has room for improvement. “We’re not an IT company,” Bartolone jokes. “We want to make it a little more user friendly.”
Although big universities sit in Fort Collins, Greeley and Boulder, most of the apps users are local families and residents rather than students—something Bartolone wants to work on. However, it is really hard to get students to transition away from the common apps and services they are used to.
Bartolone says students can see their advertising through Rocky Mountain Student Media, and they have lots of coupon codes floating around out there. She hopes that Nosh will become more popular among students, and they’ll choose to opt for Nosh rather than the big apps that aren’t supporting local communities and independent restaurants.
Story by Katrina Leibee. This article is part of Best of CSU 2020.