TIA Venture ‘Gate Grubs Re-Launches With New Pick-Up Spots Around Campus

Originally launched during Colgate’s universal quarantine in fall 2020 to stimulate Hamilton’s local economy during the COVID-19 pandemic and provide students with more dining options by offering delivery meals to campus from local restaurants, Thought Into Action (TIA) venture ‘Gate Grubs has recently been re-launched after a semester-long hiatus. The soft re-launch includes new pick-up locations around campus and same-day delivery — adjustments that come out of student feedback from the original launch, according to Marketing Manager junior Ellie McDermott.

“’Gate Grubs […] delivers fresh cooked meals from restaurants in Hamilton to locations up the hill so that students can have access to amazing, local food while juggling studying, transitions between classes, and their general busy student lives,” McDermott said. “[Same-day delivery] has been highly requested by customers and something the team has worked tirelessly to make a reality.”

According to senior Nick Gerlach, ‘Gate Grubs CEO and Head Web Developer, the company did very well in the 2020-2021 school year, providing over 1,500 meals and selling $60,000 worth of meals through the venture’s website. 

“I was so proud of our entire team within those semesters and to see the impact we were having on the local restaurant community was truly something special,” Gerlach said.

During the Fall 2021 semester, however, co-founders seniors Gerlach, Adrienne Vaughn and Ebrahim Almonsob decided to take a step back from the company due to conflicting time commitments. 

“ Our senior leadership team was split between people going abroad and others having varsity sports eating up their time. This business required a lot of time and effort and it was something that our team could not fully commit to at that point in time,” Gerlach said.

After the semester-long hiatus, Gerlach, Vaughn and Almonsob wanted to bring back ‘Gate Grubs with a new and improved system — an effort Gerclach said the team has worked on around the clock. The biggest change in the relaunch is the reduced wait time, where students can now order food two hours prior to pickup.

“I was so happy to hear that ‘Gate Grubs is relaunching,” said junior Mari Kniesewski, a member of the varsity field hockey team. “As an athlete, having more meal options […] to fuel for practices is always a bonus. Their business does a great job at bringing these options to campus, and I’m excited to see how it grows.” 

With the loosening of pandemic restrictions, ‘Gate Grubs was forced to modify its business model from the original system. Instead of ordering to dorms and apartments one full day ahead, students can order food from ‘Gate Grubs’ website to pick up at central locations around campus — the Coop, Library and Bryan Complex — expected to begin operation later this month, within two hours of their preferred pickup time.

“We got our foot in the door at Colgate through the pandemic. Restaurants were in dire need of orders and students didn’t have access to the food options they loved […] Hamilton is much different right now — thank God. However, that change required us to modify our business model,” Gerlach said. “We had to cut the wait time after ordering down from an entire day to just 2 hours. For efficiency, we do not deliver to every dorm and apartment. Rather, we bring meals to central locations.”