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Afoody & CMARIX: A Partnership for Sustainable Food Solutions

Afoody, a trailblazer in surplus food management, partnered with CMARIX for end-to-end mobile and backend web design and development. This collaboration aimed to create a robust platform that not only offers discounted food bags but also empowers vendors with efficient order management. CMARIX's expertise in agile development methodologies ensure a seamless and timely project execution, aligning perfectly with Afoody's mission to make surplus food accessible and manageable

  • Technology: Flutter, Laravel, MySQL
  • Industry: Food Tech
  • Built for: Mobile Users
  • Access: South Africa

The Roadblocks to Surplus Food Management: Afoody's South African Experience


Inadequate Infrastructure

Lack of proper storage and transportation facilities for surplus food, leading to spoilage.


Regulatory Hurdles

Complex and unsupportive policy frameworks that make it difficult for surplus food applications to operate efficiently.


Consumer Awareness

Low levels of consumer awareness about the importance of managing surplus food, leading to less app engagement.


Data Gaps

Lack of comprehensive data on the magnitude and types of food waste, making it difficult to develop targeted solutions.


Quality Control

Challenges in maintaining the quality of surplus food items, especially perishables, during storage and transportation.


Economic Constraints

High operational costs for sourcing, storing, and distributing surplus food.


Cultural Barriers

Cultural stigmas associated with consuming "surplus" or "leftover" food.


Seasonal Variability

Fluctuations in the types and amounts of surplus food available, making it challenging to maintain a consistent supply.


Safety Concerns

Ensuring that the surplus food meets all health and safety standards.


Market Competition

Competition with traditional grocery stores and online platforms, affecting customer acquisition and retention.

From Concept to Code: CMARIX's Comprehensive Approach to Afoody's System Design

Safety Concerns

Conducted a series of in-depth consultations with Afoody to understand the unique challenges and requirements of the surplus food industry, particularly in the South African context.

Requirement Analysis

Performed a meticulous requirement analysis to identify the key functionalities and features that would make Afoody a success.

Agile Methodology

Utilized Agile project management techniques to ensure that the project remained flexible and responsive to changes, without compromising on quality.

User-Centric Design

Focused on creating a user-friendly interface that would make it easy for both suppliers and consumers to navigate the app.

Security Measures

Implemented robust security protocols to ensure the safety and privacy of user data.

Quality Assurance

Conducted rigorous testing phases to ensure that the app met all performance, security, and usability benchmarks.

Backend Development

Developed a robust backend system capable of handling large volumes of data, including inventory management, user profiles, and transaction histories.


Designed the system architecture with scalability in mind, allowing for easy expansion and feature additions in the future.

Data Analytics Integration

Integrated data analytics tools to monitor user behavior and app performance, providing valuable insights for continuous improvement.

Ongoing Support

Provided ongoing technical support and updates, ensuring that Afoody remains at the forefront of the surplus food management industry.

Detailed Documentation

Created comprehensive documentation outlining the system architecture, codebase, and operational protocols, ensuring a smooth handover and future maintenance.

Stakeholder Communication

Maintained transparent and regular communication with Afoody stakeholders throughout the project, ensuring alignment and satisfaction.

Technical Excellence: How CMARIX Engineered Afoody's Mobile and Backend Systems

Flutter-based Mobile App

State Management

Utilized Flutter's state management capabilities to ensure a responsive and dynamic user interface.

Custom Widgets

Developed custom widgets for a unique and engaging user experience.

Cross-Platform Compatibility

Leveraged Flutter's cross-platform capabilities to ensure a consistent experience across Android and iOS.

Laravel Backend

API Development

Created RESTful APIs using Laravel for seamless data exchange between the mobile app and backend.


Implemented JWT-based authentication for secure user sessions.

Queue Management

Utilized Laravel's queue management to handle asynchronous tasks like notifications and batch processing.

MySQL Database

Data Modeling

Designed a normalized MySQL database schema to efficiently store and retrieve data.

Optimized Queries

Created optimized SQL queries for faster data retrieval and manipulation.

Data Integrity

Implemented ACID transactions to ensure data integrity during operations.

Functional Work

Inventory Management

Developed a real-time inventory management system that updates product availability across all platforms.

Payment Gateway Integration

Integrated secure and reliable payment gateways for smooth transactions.

Geolocation Services

Implemented geolocation features for users to find nearby stores and for vendors to manage deliveries.

Push Notifications

Utilized Flutter's native capabilities to send real-time push notifications to users.

Admin Dashboard

Created a comprehensive admin dashboard using Laravel, providing real-time analytics and management tools.

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The Architectural Blueprint: Unveiling the Core Technical Design of Afoody by CMARIX

Core Architecture Design

  • Microservices Architecture

    Rationale: To ensure scalability and maintainability, a microservices architecture was chosen. Each functional module, such as inventory management or payment processing, operates as an independent service.

  • API Gateway

    Rationale: A centralized API Gateway was implemented to manage requests and route them to the appropriate microservices. This enhances security and simplifies the API consumption for the Flutter-based mobile app.

  • Load Balancer

    Rationale: To distribute incoming application or network traffic across multiple servers, a load balancer was integrated. This ensures high availability and reliability.

Core Technical Features and Functionalities

  • Flutter-based Mobile App

    State Management: Utilized the Provider package for state management, allowing for efficient data sharing across the app.

    Animation: Leveraged Flutter’s rich animation libraries to create a visually engaging user interface.

  • Laravel Backend

    Middleware: Custom middleware was developed for request validation, authentication, and logging.

    Caching: Implemented caching strategies using Laravel's built-in caching mechanisms to improve API response times.

  • MySQL Database

    Sharding: Implemented database sharding to distribute data across multiple servers, improving performance and scalability.

    Stored Procedures: Utilized stored procedures for complex business logic, reducing the load on the application servers.

  • Security

    OAuth 2.0: Implemented OAuth 2.0 for secure authentication and authorization.

    Data Encryption: All sensitive data is encrypted using advanced encryption algorithms before being stored in the MySQL database.

  • Real-time Features

    WebSockets: Implemented WebSockets for real-time updates, such as order status and notifications.

  • DevOps

    CI/CD Pipeline: A Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipeline was set up for automated testing and deployments.

    Dockerization: The entire application was containerized using Docker, simplifying deployment and scaling.

Functional Brilliance: How CMARIX Engineered Afoody's Core Features


For End Customers:

  • Food Bag Listing Screen

    Allows customers to view a list of food bags, such as Vegetable Bag, Fruit Bag, Mixed Bag, etc.

    Each bag is clearly labeled with a description and price.

  • Search and Filters

    Home screen includes a search bar with autocomplete suggestions.

    Filters like price, dietary restrictions, and tags are available.

  • Order Management

    Customers can view their order history, filter it by date, status, or vendor, and receive real-time updates on the status of their orders.

  • Real-time Notifications

    Customers receive real-time updates on the status of their orders through push notifications.

  • Payment and Checkout

    Provides a clear breakdown of all costs, including taxes, during the checkout process.

For Super Admin:

  • Customer Account Management

    Allows the Super Admin to create, read, update, and delete customer accounts.

    Can filter customer list by account status (e.g., active, inactive, suspended).

  • Vendor Income Tracking

    A dedicated section to view the income generated by each vendor.

    Can be filtered and sorted based on various criteria like date range, vendor name, and income amount.

  • Food Bag Management

    Allows the admin to add or delete food bags from a vendor's menu.

  • Order Status Management

    Vendors can change the status of an order, such as whether it's being prepared or is ready for pickup.


Behind the Scenes: CMARIX's Backend Solutions for Afoody

Data Management

  • Database Sharding:

    Implemented sharding techniques to distribute data across multiple MySQL servers, improving performance and scalability.

  • Data Caching:

    Utilized Laravel's caching mechanisms to store frequently accessed data, reducing database load.

API Management

  • RESTful APIs:

    Developed a set of RESTful APIs to facilitate seamless communication between the frontend and backend.

  • API Versioning:

    Implemented API versioning to ensure backward compatibility and facilitate future updates.


  • JWT Authentication:

    Utilized JSON Web Tokens (JWT) for secure authentication and session management.

  • Role-based Access Control:

    Implemented role-based access control to define different levels of access for end-users and super admin.

Business Logic

  • Order Processing:

    Developed complex business logic for order processing, including inventory checks, payment processing, and order status updates.

  • Role-based Access Control:

    Implemented role-based access control to define different levels of access for end-users and super admin.

Analytics and Reporting

  • Admin Dashboard:

    Created a comprehensive admin dashboard that provides real-time analytics and reporting features.

  • Data Visualization:

    Integrated data visualization tools to represent sales, user engagement, and other KPIs in an easily digestible format.

Visual Design

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Style Guide

Color Pallette:


  • Circular Std Black

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  • Circular Std Book

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  • Circular Std Medium

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Tech Stack


Flutter: Used for mobile app development, offering cross-platform compatibility.


Laravel: Chosen for its robust features, including routing, authentication, and caching.


MySQL: Utilized for its reliability and scalability in handling large datasets.


Docker: For containerization and simplified deployment.

Jenkins: For Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD).

Version Control

Git: Used for source code management.

Third-Party APIs


Payment Gateway APIs

Stripe: For handling online payments.

PayPal: As an additional payment option.


Geolocation and Mapping

Google Maps API: For location-based services like finding nearby stores.



Twilio: For SMS notifications and verifications.

SendGrid: For email notifications.



Google Analytics: For tracking user behavior and app performance.



OAuth 2.0: For secure login via social media accounts.


Inventory Management

QuickBooks API: For syncing with existing inventory systems.


Real-time Updates

Socket.io: For real-time notifications and updates.

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