Kevin Schultz, left, and Joe Howard III are the co-owners of Junk King Grand Rapids. Courtesy Junk King
A pair of local entrepreneurs are making it their mission to help businesses and homeowners de-clutter their spaces in a planet-friendly way.
Kevin Schultz and Joe Howard III said they have opened a Grand Rapids franchise of Junk King, a California-based junk removal company. It is Junk King’s first West Michigan franchise; its other Michigan locations are in Detroit and Ann Arbor.
Schultz and Howard were drawn to the company’s business model of recycling, reusing and repurposing 60 to 70 percent of the materials collected.
Junk King Grand Rapids said one local nonprofit “is using the appliances and furniture that Junk King removes from residential properties to create new opportunities for families who are trying to get back on their feet.”
“We provide an eco-friendly solution that people can feel good about,” Howard said. “I am confident that we will make a significant difference to the cities and neighborhoods we serve.”
Junk King Franchise Systems co-founder and CEO Michael Andreacchi said he is confident the franchise will succeed.
“I have no doubt that Joe and Kevin will bring success to Junk King in Grand Rapids. They have the passion and experience to expand the brand into a new territory,” he said. “We are looking forward to supporting them both as they grow their local operation.”
How it works
Customers may schedule a pick-up in real time using Junk King’s online booking system. Users enter their ZIP code and select a date and a two-hour window for pickup. The junk collectors then call 15 minutes before arrival to confirm the pickup and to finalize pricing details.
Prices are based on the amount of junk removed.
Howard and Schultz lease a large warehouse at 2832 Vineland Ave. SE, near 28th Street and Kalamazoo Avenue, where the company manages and sorts materials.
Founded in 2005, Junk King was started by two friends in a garage in San Carlos, California. In 2010, the company began franchising. Junk King said it now is the second-largest junk removal company in North America, with 150 units and 70 franchisees.
In the next five years, Junk King plans to add an additional 125 franchisees and 400 units throughout North America.