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Doorstep Direct will deliver ‘about anything’

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James Rhiner spent the past seven years in the family plumbing business before he was given the boot.

“It was the housing bust,” he said. “The housing market had gone downhill, so our shop started laying people off – I was one of them – so I said let’s do something else.”

And he did.

The Des Moines native used his stash of emergency cash to start a delivery service called Doorstep Direct.

He doesn’t have a company car, he doesn’t have a storefront, he doesn’t even have an inventory, but he does have a few buddies who help him make deliveries when he gets backed up, he said.

This isn’t the first time Des Moines has seen such a service. Rhiner said the city had a similar delivery service six years ago called At Your Service, but the business quickly faltered when the founder got called back to the military.

“I would say about 90 percent of my customers have actually used that service in the past, so they were excited to see someone else do it,” he said.

Rhiner said he averages about 10 deliveries per day, ranging from restaurant delivery, courier services, grocery delivery and even running errands for people.

“We deliver just about anything,” he said, noting his plans to keep the delivery range within West Des Moines and downtown. “I know when you work in the same place every single day you get so sick and tired of the food that is in the area for your lunch hour, so this kind of brings variety to someone’s day.”

Rhiner said Des Moines’ growth during the past six years – when there was a delivery service void – will definitely help keep business steady.

“Things have grown so fast, so I think there is a huge market for it, most definitely,” he said. “And there are quite a few college kids as well, and I know when I was in college this is a service that I wish we had.”

Currently, Doorstep Direct only takes phone orders, but Rhiner said he plans to design the Web site so that customers can place orders online.

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