Home for the summer between his Junior and Senior year at the University of St. Thomas, Jerad Poling was asked to help family friends move into a new house. He gladly accepted, started preparing for the move, and at the end of it all, was compensated for his efforts. An idea was born. He and his friends decided to help others in the Eau Claire area move for the remainder of the summer.
In his last year at St. Thomas, Jerad recognized a win-win-win situation related to the experience he had the previous summer: College students want to make money, stay active, and work with their friends. Being a mover would provide just that – that’s win number one. Folks that need help moving don’t want to hire someone that takes frequent breaks or complains about their back, and many college students are able-bodied and educated – that’s win number two. Finally, the demand for moving services in the Midwest is greatest at the same time that college students want a flexible schedule with opportunities to make money, in the summer – that’s win number three. And so, a name was born: College Muscle Movers.
The following summer, Jerad decided to stay in St. Paul and officially start his own professional moving company with some help from his close friend, Tim Olson.
It was a rocky start. There was a lot to learn and lots to manage. In addition to everything else that comes along with any business, there were truck rentals to manage, licensing laws to understand, moves to estimate, as well as schedule and complete. Jerad was going to need some help, so he started offering an internship early on in 2009. Meanwhile, fellow Tommie, Cameron Carson had decided to withdraw from his double major in Finance/Accounting and enroll in an Entrepreneurship class. The class required he get an internship and as I’m sure you can guess; Cameron became the first College Muscle Movers intern.
After his internship and a semester at sea, Cameron decided to return to College Muscle Movers as a paid employee making $8/hour. Having maybe put the cart in front of the horse, Cameron spent a good chunk of his time early on setting up formal accounting and important processes that are still in practice today. At this time the company was being run out of a loft in St. Paul, renting trucks from Penske and storing their moving equipment in the formerly functioning Muscle Van parked outside the loft.
In those early years, there was still lots of disorganization. Similar to most other professional moving companies, a service was booked and immediately after Muscle Movers would be called until they had the necessary crew scheduled. Often times, Tim, Cameron and Jerad would end up out on services – whatever it took to make sure they never missed a service.
After a few years Jerad’s interest in College Muscle Movers was waning, but Cameron saw a lot of potential in the company. And so, Cameron approached Jerad about purchasing the company in early 2011. By March 1st, 2011 Cameron owned 75% of College Muscle Movers, and by January 1st, 2012, took full ownership. It was around this time that the company moved to its first official warehouse on Carroll Ave. It was far cry from the ideal situation (you had to walk through a bathroom to get to the back), but a warehouse nonetheless.
Quickly after taking over, Cameron restructured the scheduling process to further ensure we never miss a service, provide more availability and benefit our college athletes’ schedules.
In 2012, Andrew Roth joined the team as an On-Site Estimator. The following year, he became part owner and started building a development program with Cameron. The two recognized that a lot of college-age individuals were having trouble finding jobs because they lacked experience. So, why not add another win to the equation?
Andrew and Cameron set out to create an opportunity for young professionals to gain general job experience many entry-level jobs require, develop important skills, and act as a strong referral for employees as they enter their preferred career paths. This program continues to grow and remains a primary focus of the College Muscle Movers team.
By 2012, College Muscle Movers owned or leased all of its trucks and was humming along nicely. In less than a year, the company grew immensely. It was time to expand. In March of 2013, the company moved to its current location, a proper warehouse, at 720 Prior Ave N, in St. Paul, MN.
At the beginning of 2015, Cameron Gillette, who started as a Muscle Mover in 2010, joined Andrew and Cameron as part owner. That same year, College Muscle Movers started offering storage solutions for everything from overnight holds to long term storage.
In 2016, the CMM fleet grew to 6 trucks and 5 labor only vehicles, our storage space doubled, and former Muscle Mover Dan Kerrigan rejoined the team and served as our acting President.
In 2020, we created a partner brand, Keepsake PCO, to perform our packing services, while adding cleaning and organizing as services we offer. 2021 saw us continue to expand our line of services as we added home repair to the list.
We could not be more proud of what we’ve accomplished in the last 9 years. And, look forward to many more of exceptional service for our customers, and work and development opportunities for young professionals.