MIDLOTHIAN — It’s no surprise that the 21st century is getting more comfortable with technology. As a result, smaller towns have begun to adapt to big city commodities.
From Midlothian ISD’s Crisis Reporting Help Link and ‘SMART Tag’ technologies to Uber and Lyft alternate transportation services opening in Ellis County, and Historic Waxahachie’s “Tour Waxahachie” app – the digital age is thriving in Ellis County.
But what’s making these digital tools for businesses stick to the economy is as traditional as it gets – community support and human interaction.
“It’s been a fun ride and every month I’m growing which is all thanks to the people of Midlothian,” began Joey McAteer, CEO of Midlothian’s Home Run Deliveries.
“Word of mouth has been my biggest reason Home Run Deliveries has been so successful, or when I’m out in the community with my HRD shirt on, somebody I don’t know will talk to me, and I’ll gain a new client right there,” he added.
Since launching last year, McAteer’s “courier service” has quickly grown from two restaurants in Midlothian to seven and even one in Mansfield, which is expanding not only his reputation but his generosity as well.
“Since I’ve started, I’m now a member of the [Midlothian] Chamber of Commerce, and I really love that and recommend them to any business here,” McAteer encouraged. “It’s important to give back to your community, so I like to contribute to the community in some way or another, and one way I’ve found is through Manna House.”
“Although I’m not an official partner with Manna House, I do have on my website that if I make a delivery to your house, I’ll take your donations of food items or whatever you want to give to Manna House at no cost,” he included.
McAteer goes on to note that since his first deliveries in January, he’s grown from a total of four orders a month to nearly 60 orders a week as of September.
“The response from the community has been amazing, and I started this because my mom was a single mom and coming home every night was either fast food or pizza. And we thought even back then, ‘Why don’t more restaurants deliver,’” McAteer commented on the lack of delivery services in Ellis County.
“Once I recognized the need, I filled it, and I’m able to deliver for a lot of restaurants here in Midlothian. The partnership I have with the restaurant owners is great, and the outpour from the community is just amazing,” he complimented.
McAteer goes on to note that due to his success, Home Run Deliveries has added a new pre-order service, to the delivery cache.
“We have these new memberships that are unique to us,” McAteer began. ”So you purchase a membership of either five, nine, or fifteen prepaid orders a month, and save more money that way instead of doing the single delivery multiple times.”
“And with that, each membership, depending on which one you choose, we’ll take ten percent out of that total and donate it to victims of Hurricane Harvey. So you’re not only saving money with deliveries, but you’re also helping those in need,” he emphasized.
Though Home Run Deliveries is growing, another service is also being added to Ellis County’s arsenal of luxury services called, Texas ToGo.
“We thought it would be cool to just grow in Sherman, but then it took off from there and was a complete shocker to us,” recalled Amanda Edwards, Regional Operations Manager of Texas ToGo, about starting their delivery service.
“It’s amazing how much the smaller towns do because we thought we had to be in the bigger cities with populations of 100,000 plus, but even the little towns of only 20,000 people have taken off like crazy,” she added.
What began in 2015 in Sherman, Texas, soon launched the new food delivery service to open a territory in Waxahachie, serving the people of Ellis County with Texas pride.
“I’m actually from the Red Oak and Waxahachie area, but my husband and I moved to Sherman and noticed that they didn’t have any delivery service options, so we started one here, and then we decided to take it back to our hometown,” Edwards recalled.
From Chick-Fil-A to Chili’s, Kika’s Chicken, Hibachio, Tuscan Slice, and much more, Texas ToGo is quickly building a fan-base in Waxahachie.
“Something we do that other services might not do is, first, we have ‘hot bags’ that keep a customer’s order hot when we deliver it to their door,” Edwards described. “And secondly, we hit the outskirts of those smaller towns because we have a lot of clients that don’t want to drive back into town just to grab something to eat, so we do that for them.”
Joining the Ellis County family in July, Edwards goes on to note the customers they serve in the area were a bit unexpected at first.
“The customer base we get is way different then I thought it would be when we first started it,” Edwards acknowledged. “We have older people who order pizza on Friday nights; we get people who are homebound, parents with young kids, we also get nurses and doctors who can’t leave their jobs.”
“So we’ve met a lot of really neat people, and we realized how much one service could affect everybody,” she recognized. “We had a homebound patient in Waxahachie who could not leave her home at all, and she’ll meet us in her garage, and we’ll deliver that way to her. But being able to meet her where she’s at has been such an eye-opening, and rewarding experience.”
Stretching from Amarillo to El Paso, Lubbock, Gainesville, Midland, and now Waxahachie, Edwards is confident Texas ToGo will only continue to offer quality delivery service throughout Texas.
“We hope to continue to grow and fill that need for hungry customers across Texas, and we’re currently in the process of opening in Cedar Hill, so we think it’s important to stick to our roots and help out the 'little guys,' so to speak,” Edwards confirmed.
And as one business starts up and another continues to develop a reputation built on the shoulders of a strong community, both Home Run Deliveries and Texas ToGo is serving the county with its people in mind.
“We’re Texas-based, and we were born and raised here, so we really care about who we deliver to,” Edwards noted. “We’re apart of the communities and responsible for knowing the vibe of everything, so we’re starting in these suburb towns instead of the bigger cities because we believe smaller communities deserve great services like this too.”
“Being in the community is the best business strategy that’s worked for me so far,” McAteer jumped in with a chuckle. “Word of mouth, that alone speaks volumes. And Midlothian has received me, and I am so thankful to be here.”
“And I definitely wouldn’t be here without the people of Midlothian,” he finished with a compliment.
To connect with Midlothian’s Home Run Deliveries, visit homerundeliveries.com or download the “Home Run Deliveries” app on iTunes or GooglePlay.
For more information about Texas ToGo visit txtogo.com or download the “Texas ToGo” app on Apple Store or Google Play.
Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer