Article by: “Gareth Kelly”
At 117,000 square feet it’s almost impossible to miss the MeatHead Movers Mother ship, headquarters, at 3600 South Higuera Street in San Luis Obispo. What started as simply a way for two young brothers to earn some cash while they went to school has become one of the fastest growing companies in the United States. With 230 employees, locations in SLO, Camarillo and Orange County, Meathead has transformed the moving industry in more ways than one. Such has been their success Meathead was recently named number 2781 in the INC. 5000 list for the third consecutive year.
“We’ve been doing really well. We will do over 8000 moves this year alone and have seen growth of 133%. We’re excited to be in the INC. 5000 list again and hope to be in it every year,” said Meathead Movers owner and CEO Aaron Steed.
Along with his brother Evan, the Steeds dropped out of college and jumped head first into making their dream a reality. Started in 1997 the company has come a long way but these two local boys remain as grounded and humble as all their employees.
“We believe in hiring great people. We have tried to develop a culture within the company that only helps our employees to be the best they can be. We have programs designed to guarantee our employees get better and better be it working for us or doing something for themselves,” said Steed.
Wander around what has an almost tech campus feel to their headquarters and its clear to see what’s important to this company. Posters, slogans and pictures adorn many walls with tails of company successes, employee successes and client appreciation. Along with being the original purveyor of the professionally trained student athlete mover, Meatheads overriding goal is to provide their customers with the best moving experience possible.
“Quality is vital to us. If we let our standards slip all this may as well be just dust. We check all our employees’ backgrounds and make sure they understand our business culture. We treat them like young professionals and want to do everything we can to make them happy. If they’re happy they will enjoy working here and will want to stay,” Steed said.
One recent addition to the brand was that of the Meathead Packers. “Sometimes big beefy dudes are not the best packers. When we have things like fine china or linens sometimes we need a woman’s touch. My wife had the idea of a highly trained crew of girls that would be amazing packers and organizers. They come in and ensure everything is packed in the best way possible. As part of the Meathead Packers program we donate $1 for every box packed to our own Cinderella fund that donates to local kids charities. This year alone we’ve donated over $100,000 to charity. Its something we’re really proud of,” said Steed.
Along with traditional moving services MeatHead also offers mini storage at their location in SLO and also the only personal wine locker storage within the city limits.
“A lot of people have wine but its in the garage or maybe even under the bed. I was one of those people. You might have a few thousand dollars of wine but if you get one really hot day it can all be ruined. Our wine lockers solve that problem,” said Steed.
As for the future this rapidly growing company wants to continue what its doing. With planed expansions planned for other areas these two brothers have set no limits on how far they can take this company. In choosing to base themselves here in San Luis Obispo, they alongside fellow INC. 5000 list entrants Mind Body, Hathway, IQMS and TekTegrity are helping to employee the next generation of local residents and sustainably grow the workforce.
“Its not just about the rat race. We live in the best place on earth. We appreciate people. Creating a culture for success and enabling employees to enjoy their job only helps employee retention,” said Steed.