Jordan Doufexis takes a moment to stop, if only for a moment because there is rarely a down time. The cell phone never stops as calls come in and text messages pop up.
Thinking back, Doufexis is a little surprised he’s here, where he and his wife, Ashley, are full-go in the world of technology. Instead of working on political campaigns, his first love, Doufexis is all-in on the Go Native app.
Former Jackson County Commissioner Horace Clemmons, now in North Carolina, convinced Doufexis to join his dream of keeping everything local and going up against the retail giants, such as Amazon, full speed.
The Native app was created in 2014 as the company aimed to give local businesses the tools needed to thrive in the dominating corporate economy by helping to make shopping locally more attractive to consumers, said Clemmons.
“It’s all about giving local merchants better technology than Amazon,” said Clemmons. “Websites will be a thing of the past in 10 years. Everything is now done with the phone app.”
Doufexis came on board in September 2016.
He remembers the local “lottery” created for the app in March 2016 where consumers made purchases at a local business and be given a ticket for a chance to win money.
“It was awful,” said Doufexis. “The app was slow. People were not sure how to use it. There were just so many things wrong with it.”
In October 2016, a second version of the app launched, which Doufexis said was much easier to use.
“We really pushed the lottery for two years,” he said. “We gave away $30,000 that went back into local businesses.”
Doufexis said the company realized the only way to help local businesses was to give more value to them. At that point, delivery, was the way to go.
“The fastest way to build a user base is to deliver food,” said Doufexis.
In January, it was underway as Kudzu Kafe in Scottsboro, signed up.
“That first month, we did 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday,” he said. “I had one driver sit in his car on the [Jackson County Courthouse] square waiting for orders.”
That first month, Doufexis said, there was 30 deliveries and up to $450 in sales.
Within a few months, a dozen other restaurants in Scottsboro joined. Today, Doufexis said in Scottsboro, Rainsville and Fort Payne, there are 25 restaurants and Bruce’s Foodland, averaging 70 deliveries per day.
Doufexis said the customer places the order on the app and the driver picks up the food from the restaurant and delivers.
“The customer can watch the driver on the app,” he said. “It gives the customer constant contact. Our average delivery time is 16 minutes. We’re cheaper and faster than every other delivery service.”
Doufexis said it’s a great option for anyone who has a small window for lunch or just can’t leave. He said he has been surprised by the number of senior citizens and home bound using the app.
“The mission is to keep tax dollars local,” said Doufexis. “But, even more important, we’re helping people.”
The focus remains rural. Doufexis said for a business to join it has to be local.
“I am pleased where we are,” he said. “Our focus right now remains on food. Eventually, we will focus on retail. We will be faster and more convenient than Amazon.”
Doufexis said for the businesses involved, it’s all about increasing sales.
“We handle customer service and manage the drivers,” he said. “It’s a monthly subscription, no contract. We handle logistics and marketing.”
Doufexis said Clemmons, the CEO of the company, let’s the team develop and tailored the needs of Northeast Alabama.
Doufexis said his focus is on pushing the food and grocery service that can help the elderly and home bound.
Since April, the Go Native app has registered 5,142 new users. It’s growing by the day, Doufexis said.
“Each day, I am fired up to increase those deliveries,” he said. “To me, it doesn’t matter if it’s a pair of shoes or a cheeseburger.”