Bloc started local, serves local and is now expanding locally

Jasmine Alston

In Philadelphia, there’s one service that’s offering fast, easy delivery as soon as the very next day in at least 23 zip codes — and no, we’re not talking about Amazon. 

Bloc, a growing online marketplace and e-bike delivery service supporting small businesses of the city recently announced its expansion. Previously, Bloc delivered from businesses in a neighborhood to customers in that same neighborhood, according to a news release. Due to customer demand, however, Bloc is expanding to provide next-day delivery in 23 zip codes across Philadelphia. For example, now a customer in Germantown can order a shirt and hat from a small business in South Philly, headphones from an electronics store in West Philly and groceries from the Mt. Airy co-op in one online checkout transaction, and receive all of these goods, purchased locally, next day via e-bike. 

This locally-focused business was started by co-founders Alison Cohen and Jenn Grega right at the start of the pandemic in March 2020 as a way for small businesses to thrive and stay afloat amidst competition from large corporations. If there’s anything that the last year and a half has taught us, it’s that making an effort to support local businesses is vastly important and necessary. 

“Bloc is a simple solution to getting local goods to local people, sustainably. The global supply chain has led to the wrong solution of big trucks delivering from far-away warehouses on small streets, decimating local retail and damaging our planet and our neighborhoods,” said Cohen, also a founder of the Indego Bike Share system, in a statement. “Bloc does just the opposite, supporting local retail and providing right-scale last-mile delivery. This expansion in Philadelphia is the first step in achieving our vision of bringing massive business back to local communities and revolutionizing last-mile delivery to be clean, green, safe and quiet.” 

Bloc was born as a startup within Bicycle Transit Systems, a bike share operations company based in Philadelphia. It’s been so magical with its services, Mt. Airy yarn store Wild Hand has even called Bloc their business fairy godmother. 

Jasmine Alston

The mission of this company comes two-fold: The first is the obvious drive to support local businesses, but the second is to provide a path for sustainable and safe delivery. Bloc’s cargo electric bikes can carry 40 cubic feet and up to 300 pounds of goods, and they are manufactured in the U.S.  

The release also states that with the expansion comes an updated website that is easier to use and gives customers the option to choose their products and stores by shop ownership: Women-owned, black or brown-owned, LGBTQ-owned and community-owned. Bloc’s goal is to make it easy to shop across multiple small businesses. A customer can order from multiple shops in one online cart at the same time on the website and receive next-day delivery, whether it’s grocery, gifts, school supplies or electronics.⁠ 

Jasmine Alston

Currently, Bloc supports approximately 25 shops and has provided local products to around 3,000 unique local customers. Philly shop partners at this time include Mariposa Food Co-op, Baker Street Bread Company, Good Buy Supply, High Point Cafe, Pump Dog, Philadelphia Runner, Stone Cottage Industries, Remark Glass, South Philly Food Co-op, Weaver’s Way Food Co-op, Germantown Bicycle Supply, Wild Hand, Lace in the Moon, Nesting House, The Bone Appetite, Buddha Babe, Zipf’s Candies and more. 

As an extra special bonus for those who are interested in checking out the services that Bloc offers, in honor of their expansion, the company is offering a discount of 20% off all first-time orders using code BLOCEXPANDS. Philadelphians can take advantage of this discounted rate until the end of the month. 

Businesses who are interested in becoming partners with Bloc can become a shop partner by reaching out to hello@blocdelivery.com. Those who are looking to get involved more can also inquire about open positions at the company now that they have expanded. 

South Philly Food Co-op Jasmine Alston

For more information on Bloc, visit blocdelivery.com or follow them on social media 


Metro is one of more than 20 news organizations producing Broke in Phillya collaborative reporting project on economic mobility. Read more at brokeinphilly.org or follow on Twitter at @BrokeInPhilly

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