Business

On the Job

Drizly shakes up the liquor business

Cofounder and chief executive Nick Rellas, with senior vice president of ad sales Phuc Truong at the Drizly office in Boston, said liquor sellers have embraced the ordering app.
Sean Proctor/Globe Staff
Cofounder and chief executive Nick Rellas, with senior vice president of ad sales Phuc Truong at the Drizly office in Boston, said liquor sellers have embraced the ordering app.

One of Drizly’s tag lines is, “Get the door, it’s the liquor store!” — an apropos statement for an app that makes home delivery of beer and wine as easy as ordering a pizza. Nicholas Rellas, cofounder and chief executive, said just as Uber offers on-demand transportation, the Boston startup promises to have the liquor of your choice on your doorstep in 30 to 60 minutes. Globe correspondent Cindy Atoji Keene spoke with Rellas about introducing technology to a highly regulated, fragmented industry.

“We started Drizly because my cofounder and I wondered why you could get almost anything through an app — except for beer. This started us to figure out how to integrate technology into this antiquated business, which has not changed the way it has operated since Prohibition ended. Dealing with the regulatory complexity in a cost-effective way was a huge undertaking; there are more than 50 sets of laws and tens of thousands of liquor stores around the country. But once the ball started rolling, wholesalers and suppliers have been forward-thinking.”

“Drizly is going to become more personalized as it gives Netflix-style recommendations based on purchase history. We know Drizly won’t replace going to the liquor store. For me, nothing will substitute for going to a great wine shop and having a conversation about what to buy for dinner. Still, if you need a last minute wine, or don’t have time to run to the store, Drizly is the app.”

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Rellas said the Boston startup promises to have the liquor of your choice on your doorstep in 30 to 60 minutes.
Sean Proctor/Globe Staff
Rellas said the Boston startup promises to have the liquor of your choice on your doorstep in 30 to 60 minutes.

Cindy Atoji Keene can be reached at cindy@cindyatoji.com.