Hope couple purchases tenured Warren business
Warren — Jason and Brooke Hall of Hope have purchased Knowlton Moving and Storage in Warren. The couple said they are excited as they take reins at the tenured business which offers a full range of moving, packing and storage solutions for business and residential customers.
The couple said the business was founded in 1947 and has been operated by Rolf and Sue Winters since 1986. With a fleet of eight moving trucks — including a tractor trailer and an assortment of various-size trucks — the company offers long distance and local hauling.
"A lot of people don't realize that we go outside of the Midcoast area," Brooke Hall said.
The Halls explained they began considering purchasing the business in September when it was listed for sale through Camden Real Estate and closed on the deal in January.
"The more we thought about [buying Knowlton Moving and Storage] the more we decided it was going to be a really great fit," said Jay Hall.
Hall, who also is a Hope selectmen, has had a class A driver's license since he was in high school, and has a wide variety previous trucking experience.
The couple has two young daughters who were enthusiastic about the business when they first visited. After exploring the building, the girls grew interested in the tractor trailer truck, which has a standard sleeping space for long-haul drives.
"The kids wanted to sleep in the cabin of the truck when they saw that it had beds," said Hall with a laugh.
The Winters will work alongside the Halls at the business through February as part of the transition, the Halls explained. As soon as the deal was finalized, the Halls set to work.
"We started that Monday [in January] learning the ropes," Brooke Hall said.
The eight employees of Knowlton Moving and Storage are also a huge asset to the Halls. The couple said most of the employees have been on staff for years and have a deep understanding of how the business works.
"Most all of them are long-term employees and that institutional knowledge goes a long way, having the staff stay on is a huge help," said Hall.
Knowlton Moving and Storage occupies 31,000 square feet of space in a 45,000 square foot building on Route 90 that is shared with several other businesses. The building was constructed in 2005 with Knowlton Moving and Storage in mind, and is outfitted to accommodate the business — heated, secured and alarmed — said Hall.
The Halls said very few tasks are too large or too small for their crew. Clients call to book services such as assisting in the safe packing and moving of items from one part of a home to another during a renovation, and just as commonly call to book full-service and large-item moves.
"We're capable of doing a lot more than moving and storing. We sell packing supplies, if someone wants to remodel their living room and can't pick up the couch, we're here," Hall said.
While most of the demand for moving services so far has been on the East Coast, the Halls said they have trucking industry connections that allow them to facilitate nationwide moves if a client requests that service. Additionally they offer shipping and receiving of items destined for local — but hard to reach — places such as Islesboro.
The Halls will both be a hands-on presence at Knowlton Moving and Storage, with Brooke Hall overseeing most of the front-of-the-house operations and Hall working in a general manager capacity.
A sunny front office area gives way to loading bays and a large warehouse spaces where wooden crates are meticulously stacked toward the ceiling. Shelves of palettes surround the periphery of the cavernous, temperate space. Each is labeled and numbered, denoting the owner.
In one area of the warehouse a large collection of various types of pianos sit wrapped and disassembled, safely stored away until they're once again called to make music.
"We've got the biggest piano collection around!" Hall said. He explained that a number of the pianos are assembled and disassembled each time they're moved, which is not infrequent in some cases. A few of the pianos are taken in and out of storage between concerts, as Knowlton offers short-term storage options as well.
Cars, motorcycles and boats all occupy their respective places in the warehouse, many bear dust covers and each is parked just-so. A handful of unusual antique vehicles sit uncovered and immaculate, awaiting their eventual return to the road come spring.
The Halls said watching the staff work has been enlightening.
"We've all moved, but these are professional movers, it's amazing how good professional movers are," Hall said. "[The client] was only taking the truck down the road, but the guys packed it like it was going to Colorado."
"They're really pretty amazing to watch," Brooke Hall added.
In addition to the services offered at Knowlton Moving and Storage the Halls explained that having both moving expertise and requisite tools of the trade on hand is a huge asset. Professional moving can also be highly cost effective, they explained.
"Don't assume that hiring a UHaul and moving yourself is a lot cheaper, that's not always the case," Hall said. Knowlton Moving and Storage offers free quotes for services.
Knowlton Moving and Storage is the only authorized professional moving company in Knox County, according to their website. They're open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Courier Publications reporter Jenna Lookner can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org