A chance meeting of two high school friends in downtown Santa Barbara more than five years ago was a significant enough event that the reconnected buddies not only vowed to stay in touch, but they also decided to go into business together.
Those friends and former Oregon residents, Erik Haney and Patrick Wilkinson, are the brains behind Move Green, a local moving company that prides itself on environmental efficiency and care of belongings during “green” moves.
Leaving as small a carbon footprint as possible, Move Green trucks run on biodiesel, and movers pack using either recycled materials or rentable, reusable yellow bins.
Haney and Wilkinson, both 31, told Noozhawk recently that they’re not surprised their full-service business model has been and continues to bring in a growing number of customers — even after five years.
“We’ve now outgrown this warehouse,” Haney said of the crowded space at 747 S. Kellogg Ave. in Goleta. “It’s a good problem to have.”
The company, which has grown 30 to 40 percent every year, performs long-distance and local moves for families and companies.
Haney said the company averages 50 to 70 moves per month, and the employee count is boosted from 15 to 25 during the summer “busy season.”
This isn’t the first moving venture for Haney, who created Haney Moving 11 years ago while attending Santa Barbara City College.
Instead of waiting to earn a paper degree to create a business, Haney started his own at age 20. He subsequently established Santa Barbara Student Movers at age 24.
“My entrepreneur spirit took over,” he said. “It was right during the housing boom in Santa Barbara.”
During that time, Wilkinson was still studying electrical engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Since the two reconnected in 2007, they’ve been busy creating an environmental niche that has earned them several local people’s poll awards as the best local mover.
Move Green also organizes an annual golf tournament to raise money for the local Teacher’s Fund, which receives regular donations from the company throughout the year.
So far, Move Green has raised more than $120,000 for the nonprofit, Haney said.
All that’s left for the friends’ company is to continue adding clients and growing, which is why they plan to look for a larger warehouse space sometime in the near future.