Why Small Businesses Matter
Shop small, do big things for your community
Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!
You're IT The Junkluggers!
Four questions with Aimee Lapak, founder of The Junkluggers.
Why did you start your business?
While CEO Josh Cohen was studying in Australia during a semester abroad from the University of Connecticut, the idea for The Junkluggers came to him like a bolt of lightning. He and his friends were drinking boxed wine and singing to a friend's guitar when one of them mentioned making $100 for lugging away from a neighbor's fridge. Josh then thought, "Hey, I can do that!"
Upon his return to the U.S. in 2004, 21-year-old Josh Cohen started his business by handing out homemade flyers all around town, going door to door informing his neighbors that he was a professional, responsible college student who was able and willing to donate or recycle as many of their items as he could. Soon, Josh quickly realized there was a demand for reliable, professional, and environmentally focused junk removal services.
Josh was also especially passionate about his customers and has always treated their property with care while striving to keep as much out of landfills as possible. He felt a strong conviction in his heart that he couldn't just throw all of those memories in the trash. This is where the story began.
What is your best-selling product/service?
Our main service is eco-friendly junk removal. Since our founding in 2004, The Junkluggers has been committed to the environment and the communities we serve. We provide sustainable disposal services for homes and offices large and small - as well as unwanted items of all kinds. Our team of friendly professionals will lug away any unwanted items, and will always try to donate or recycle any items we can.
How many local businesses do you use to support your business (products and services) and can you name them?
Norwalk local businesses:
- Levine Auto
- DeMassa Appliance Service
- Esposito auto body
- Person to Person
- Currie tire
- Terzian Trucking
Have you "reimagined" your small business?
Josh built his business from the ground up, first by borrowing his mom's SUV. Later, adding a trailer for bigger jobs, hand stenciling the company name on the sides of the trailer's wooden walls his Dad helped him build. A year later, Josh purchased Old Rusty, a (mostly) reliable dump truck that wasn't much to look at but got the job done.
Today, we have a fleet of over 1000 trucks across the nation, and 16 operating right here in Fairfield and Westchester counties. The Junkluggers' mission since the beginning has been to help communities and the environment by keeping items out of landfills. We work with donation and charity centers but really reimagined this small business by creating a sub-business ReMix Market. We have a goal of keeping 100% of reusable items out of landfills by 2025, but we knew we couldn't get there without making some changes.
We are so thankful for our donation and charity partners who help us to keep items out of landfills, but we also understand they can not always take all of the items we pick up. Remix Market was launched from a grassroots team effort in 2013 and has grown from weekend garage sales into our current 10,000 square foot facility. Here we can store items until donation centers can take them, and upcycle items to be resold.
HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!