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UrbanFoodDelivery.com offers south St. Pete more dining options
Young entrepreneur Jordan Davis is your new best friend with his food delivery service to south St. Pete.
By J.A. Jones, Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG – Twenty-seven-year-old Jordan Tyrone Davis was a University of South Florida grad with degrees in political science and criminal justice when he relocated back to St. Pete from Tampa for a job.
With dual bachelor’s degrees and a minor in business, the bright scholar had planned to attend Stetson University for law school. When the idea of starting his own commercial venture came up, his mother encouraged him to think along the lines of something he was familiar with.
“All throughout college and a little afterwards, I was doing delivery,” said Davis. “I worked for the big corporations—Domino’s, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut—delivering food. And my mom was like, ‘You’ve done it before for other people, you should be able to do it for yourself. Give it a try.’”
With his mom’s unwavering support, Davis decided to name the fledgling enterprise “Urban Food Delivery.”
“It sounded like a name that would stand out and you would immediately know what it is,” he explained.
From there, things moved astonishingly fast. It was in December when he had the dinner with his mother. A month later he was incorporated, gotten his business certificated along with a bank account.
“With the basics down, the new service was ready to start running by Jan. 31,” he said proudly.
Choosing south St. Pete as the delivery area just made sense.
“I’ve grown up here; I’ve spent my whole life in south St Pete.”
Every restaurant in his network is within about a six-mile radius. His goal is to bring a greater variety of dining options to the community he calls home.
“I picked the delivery zone because while it’s not necessarily a food desert, you don’t have as many options as far as delivery is concerned—as compared to the north side of town or Seminole.”
Many restaurants will not deliver to certain parts of the south side or if they do, it will cost extra. With Urban Food Delivery’s flat $5 rate regardless of location, Davis has eliminated the possibility of some areas having to pay an astronomical fee for delivery.
The delivery zone is from the Tropical Shores area to 49th Street South and going up towards 38th Avenue North. It’s designed that way to keep the delivery time between 30 to 45 minutes. And while at least 20 percent of callers have inquired about delivery to outside areas such as Bay Pines, Seminole and Pinellas Park, Davis’ reason for not including those areas was simple.
“I’ve had to turn them down because we can’t guarantee that the food will still be hot — that’s a long way to go.”
So far, the response to the new enterprise has been positive both from the consumer and the restaurants. With it being free to the restaurant owner and a flat rate to the hungry homeowner “everybody is happy.”
“When I come into the picture you can sell more items; I can make money servicing our mutual customers, customers have more options rather than just waiting in line — they can go to the website, place an order and have me come out,” asserted the young entrepreneur.
Like any new business, Davis is learning on the ropes, but the simplicity of the operation has, so far, presented no major problems. Still, he plans to address the issues that do arise head on.
“At this point, the number one challenge is to have a seamless delivery. Sometimes I pull up to a restaurant and it’s a little busy and sometimes they haven’t prepared the order yet, so I might have to wait. It’s part of the business, but I’ve had to go to the business owner and ask them to expedite the process,” he shared.
Up and running only two weeks, a growing social media presence and word of mouth are already bringing in 15 to 20 calls a day.
“I’ll direct them to go to the website because we don’t carry cash—it’s all done online with a debit or credit card,” he said, explaining that there is also an app that can be downloaded from Google Play or iTunes.
Urban Food Delivery’s current network of restaurants includes Big C’s Chopped BBQ, Brea’s Coffee, Church’s Chicken, Chief’s Creole Café, Krispy Krab, Mair’s West Indian Restaurant, Nueva Cantina and Ray’s Vegan Soul Food, among others.
Davis is already thinking about what the future holds for Urban Food Delivery. Once he gets the process down pat, adding other cities such as Tampa would be no problem. Since the majority of his customers are African American, he would be looking for a similar community across the bay.
“We can find some soul food restaurants over there. The thing is, nobody’s delivering crabs, nobody’s delivering ribs—nobody’s coming into the neighborhood trying to partner with or build these relationships where they’re delivering this specific kind of food,” he elaborated.
Davis would also like the business to grow to a point where he can offer employment to others. He’s constantly asked if the service is hiring.
“So, if we could hire other people that would be fantastic.”