Not your average Joe: Geaux Joe drive-through in Vidalia offers coffee, energizers

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, June 28, 2022

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VIDALIA, La. — Bethani Douglas opened Geaux Joe, a drive-through coffee shop at 2008 Carter St. in Vidalia, on May 13. After the COVID economic disruptions of the past two years, Douglas has turned toward entrepreneurship to support her family.

Douglas loves coffee, like many people, and saw the new direction business was going in the wake of COVID.

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“COVID changed the way everyone does business. Even if the world shuts down again, we’ll be able to stay open,” said Douglas about the drive-through model.

She also noticed the lack of drive-through coffee in the area, with the nearest Dunkin’ or Starbucks being an hour and a half away in any direction.

After opening, customers often mistook Geaux Joe for a snowball stand, so Douglas added them to the menu.

A few times, customers shared their specialty drink orders on social media and garnered enough popularity that Douglas added their special orders to the menu as well.

A favorite is the brown sugar cinnamon iced macchiato with toasted marshmallow sweet cream and foam.

Along with Douglas’ menu being flexible, the square footage of the stand was designed to grow, she said.

With the contractor, she created a building that could be expanded toward the road, and in width, without disrupting their service.

Part of her plans for expansion has also been business partnerships within the community.

“Collaborating over competing is where success really happens,” said Douglas.

She’s incorporated cookie dough from Hannah Hinkle’s Natchez company, Rolling ‘N’ the Dough, into her menu and hopes to partner with BJ’s donuts of Ferriday to serve snack items to accompany each drink.

Geaux Joe has regulars, even some twice-a-day regulars. Since opening, the business met or exceeded the national average daily revenue for her type of business, Douglas said.

“We’re hoping to be a long-standing staple in the community,” she said.