Young entrepreneur's company brings restaurants' food to your door

Book knowledge became real-world experience when Ohio State student Jacob Taylor started Columbus Food Express, a fledgling delivery company serving the Columbus metro area. Now an independent businessman at age 19, he shared more about thinking big.

The idea started when I was on Campus with my brother. We just really hated ordering pizza all the time. The guy who came always had, like, a crummy T-shirt on. We never liked that. We were like, "Why can't delivery be a little more professional?"

The company started in May. We just happened to know a lot of people Downtown. We had no funding other than ourselves and our personal bank accounts. We just poured it all in, and it's been successful ever since.

My dad has owned a painting business for 25 years. I think that's where we adopted a lot of our style. He's always prided himself on quality work, whether he's doing one room or a whole exterior. When we picked up on this, he said, "Somebody referring you is the best business you're ever gonna get."

Another thing that helped was having a twin brother. People notice a twin more than they notice an individual. It's always a foot in the door. That's my one advantage, being a twin. We have the same mindset. We think on the same wavelength.

We deliver for a group of restaurants. Currently it's restaurants like J. Gumbo's, Sushi Rock, Peking Dynasty. We started a coffee delivery last week. We deliver for Travonna in the Short North.

I hated being stagnant. I hated being with the rest of the 50,000 kids at OSU. I felt like we were all competing for the same jobs in Columbus. It was kind of like, "Let's do something now, while I'm young and can make mistakes."

Three things I can't live without are my BlackBerry, my brother and my scooter.

The best advice I've ever received is to marry your mission, not your ideas. That came from Tim Wolf Starr, the guy who runs the Small Business Beanstalk. I had a thousand ideas, but my mission was always to be an entrepreneur, stay in Columbus and benefit my community somehow.

My favorite thing about Columbus is that I'm surrounded by a younger crowd. I also really like that it's under development. There are a lot of holes being filled right now, and I'm a part of it.

Know someone doing cool things around Columbus? E-mail John Ross at jross@columbusalive.com.