A Former Gentle Giant Mover Sends Praise from and for Seattle

Gentle Giant is lucky to consistently have the best employees and customers. As it happens, sometimes our best customers are former employees. Below is a wonderful letter sent to Gentle Giant Moving Company Founder & CEO Larry O’Toole from Dale Hunter, a former Giant that moved across country with GG’s long distance moving team.

Seattle's favorite attraction, the Gentle Giant truck

Dear Larry,

I recently had the pleasure, with Tom O’Gorman’s extraordinarily kind and caring assistance, of moving back to Seattle with Gentle Giant after a fairly brief return to Boston.  It was, admittedly, strange and more than a little difficult to reverse course after only five months, but I felt it was right and necessary.  Coming back east gave me the clarity I needed to return west, and resume my life here.

What was equally clear was that I could not have done this anywhere near as easily or as happily without the Giants.  I must reserve special thanks and praise for Tom, whom I submit represents the best values and highest virtues of the company like no one else.  I know you must already know this yourself, but it is the sort of thing that can, and should, be said over and over again.  Tom is a unique man, and a great one, about whom I cannot speak highly enough.

Rik Hayes, the furniture moving rock star.

Derek Devries, GG Seattle's Polite Powerhouse

Thanks must also go to Rik Hayes, whom I did not meet, but whom I understand is the very diligent and capable Interstate Driver who got my goods here in full and all safe.  That he is a Scotsman and with an excellent lilt, from what I hear, makes him more estimable still.  Finally, I must praise the quality work done by the local Giant here in Seattle who came to deliver my belongings, and who helped me with the offload.  A very capable, solid, dedicated, and diligent guy by the name of Derek DeVries, he reminded me of all the good people I used to work with on the trucks in Somerville.  You should be happy, Larry, to know that based on my small sampling (with Derek), the spirit that you created at Gentle Giant in Somerville is alive and well here in the Pacific Northwest!

Finally, it has been many years since we were last in touch, but I’m so glad to see that your business continues to thrive, and expand into new markets. It is a concept eminently worth such growth.  The 3-4 years I was with the Giants were a (mostly!) grand and formative time in my professional and personal development after college.  I thank you for them, Larry.  And I hope this missive finds you and your family well.

 All my best,

Dale Hunter  

Gentle Giant Moving Company and Their Intense Warehouse Gym

At Gentle Giant Moving Company, health and fitness is a top priority, which is why the industry leader has dedicated space in their warehouse to build a full gym for Operations and Office staff.

Employees of the Boston moving company can work out with professional trainer John Zimmer to perfect form, increase strength, and maximize endurance, which is one way Gentle Giant decreases the chance of workplace injuries and promotes healthy living on and off the job.

This fun video gives you a peak inside Gentle Giant’s training center and how this incredible gym came to be at Gentle Giant Headquarters in Boston. Enjoy!

 

Training a Key to Success at Gentle Giant Moving Company

These Giants-in-Training pose after running the entire Harvard Stadium!

This week, four Giants from three different Gentle Giant Moving Company Regional Offices across the country are in our Somerville Headquarters to participate in a two week training workshop.  The goal of this workshop will be to help accelerate the development of technical skills, as well as the communication skills that consistently support Gentle Giant’s goal to interact with customers on a personal level, which will in turn lead to more referrals and repeat business. The idea is that if our employees are enjoying the move, the customers will also enjoy the move. Furthermore, the better the moving experience a customer has, the better chance they remember Gentle Giant next time around.

The participating employees, Mihia Muresan (Washington DC Office), Jean-Marc Tahi (Washington DC Office), Mike Rivers (New York Office), and Toua Chang (Seattle Office), will also be held accountable for taking the knowledge learned back to their respective offices to share it with their fellow employees. It is imperative to our company culture that we are able to provide our customers with a high quality product, which means developing great crew chiefs. This development starts immediately after being hired.

We welcome our fellow Giants to headquarters for this workshop that will help with their development as we move forward to achieving our 10-20 year vision. Click here for more information on what it takes to be a Giant.

Moving On; The Gentle Giant Alumni Bios – Jake Sweeney and Adam Benezra

Of all the incredible things Giants accomplish once they move on from the moving industry, Jake Sweeney and Adam Benezra’s quest to help people successfully quit tobacco with their business, Jake’s Mint Chew, is one of the most impressive and successful of all.

Jake Sweeney (L) and Adam Benezra (R) at a Gentle Giant holiday party.

Today, Jake and Adam are hard at work constantly improving their mint chew business, but they have come a long way since their days working on the trucks at Gentle Giant.

Their story starts when Adam was working at a rival moving company in Boston during the early 90′s. After a short period on their trucks, he realized he was surrounded by ex-convicts and other untrustworthy people, which made him think, “there has got to be a better moving company in Boston with better people.”

A friend told Adam about Gentle Giant, which during that period in the early 90′s was really hitting its stride within Massachusetts because of the focus on hiring honest, hardworking college athletes looking for a challenging but rewarding work. Not long after Adam started at GG in the Spring of 1994, he met Jake, who had started working at Gentle Giant a year before under Bobby Lane, focusing on complicated international moves. Oddly enough, the two attended UMass Amherst at the same time, but didn’t know each other because Jake was busy studying at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture while Adam was busy studying finance and the mating habits of inebriated coeds.

Working together on a few moving jobs around Boston formed Jake and Adam’s friendship, but it wasn’t until they took a road trip down to New Orleans with Eddie Crean, a Giant enjoying his first summer over from Ireland, that their relationship really strengthened.

They remained close even after they left Gentle Giant to start their own businesses. Jake followed in the family greenhouse business and before long was the go to wholesaler of greenhouse products on the North Shore. By 2009, Jake oversaw several greenhouses, including a 10,000 sq ft flagship greenhouse in Beverly. However, tragedy struck in the winter of 2009/10 when an ice storm took out this main greenhouse, which put a nail in the coffin of a business already hit hard by the financial woes the country was suffering from during that time.

Jake's Mint Chew

Down, but not out, Jake decided to depart from the greenhouse business and focus on a venture he had begun thinking about, Jake’s Mint Chew, which was a mint snuff designed to help people addicted to harmful tobacco snuff.

Given his background with the greenhouse, Jake was comfortable focusing on customer service, phone orders, making new flavors, and hiring, but he understood that he needed help with other areas. Realizing this, he called on Adam, his old friend from Gentle Giant, to help him with the website, shipping, payroll, and other financial responsibilities.

The partners recall their first “business meeting” back in 2009 at a local Beverly bar called Fibber McGee’s in which Jake carefully laid out the plan for his mint chew business. Adam instantly saw the product’s potential as a healthy, safe option for people looking to kick their tobacco addiction.

Because the pair had worked together so well during their time at Gentle Giant, they already knew how to motivate and compliment each other on the job. Now embarking on their third year working together at Jake’s Mint Chew, the company has grown exponentially, and expect even further growth now that they are USDA Organic Certified and showing up in more and more Major League Baseball clubhouses.

Jake and Adam look back very fondly at their time moving at Gentle Giant, and still keep in touch with all of the great people they worked with during the early and mid 90′s, some of whom have made a career at GG.

For more information on Jake’s Mint Chew, visit their website at www.jakesmintchew.com and tell them that Gentle Giant sent you!

Moving Yourself? Pack Like the Pros with These Helpful Tips – Part 1

These days, everyone is looking to save a few dollars, and this is especially the case when relocating yourself and your family. Buying a home is expensive enough, so it is no surprise that one of the most common questions we get asked at Gentle Giant is “how can I cut costs during my move?”

The simplest answer is to buy used packing boxes and pack yourself. Although it may seem like a daunting task, we assure you it is not as bad as you think. As long as you give yourself enough time before the move, take it room by room and step by step, packing doesn’t have to be a daunting task.

The first step in a successful pack is using the proper boxes. By familiarizing yourself with the best boxes to use for the various items you’ll be packing, you’ll prevent the boxes bottoms from giving out. Additionally, you won’t be doing yourself any favors by filling an extra large box with heavy books and cans of soup. An extremely heavy box going through your living room floor is a surefire way to lose your security deposit.

The Book Box - 1.5 Cubic Feet of Raw Power!

This adorable little box may be small, but it is not to trifled with. It packs a mean punch by being able to hold up to 65 lbs. of your heaviest books, wine bottles, CD’s or vinyl records, hand tools, canned goods, dry food, kitchen utensils, or any other smaller, heavy items.

 

 

The Linen Box – 3.1 Cubic Ft. of Cardboard Boxery!

This medium sized box can take almost anything you can throw at it. If you’re in the mood for packing linens, folded clothes, pots and pans, toys, lampshades, or pillows, this bad boy is the box for you!

 

 

 

The “Large” Linen Box – 4.5 Cubic Ft. of Boxy Goodness

This beautiful box is certainly not your grandparents Large Linen Box! Not for the feint of heart, this box is similar to the 3.1 cubic ft. Linen Box, but is better equipped to handle lighter, bulkier items like linens, folded clothes, blankets, quilts, and pillows. This box can also be used to protect over-sized lampshades.

 

The Dish Barrel – A 5.2 Cubic Ft. Box that can dish it AND take it!

For years, people have griped that there is simply no perfect box to pack dishes, well now those people can take those gripes, wrap them up in packing paper, and safely pack them in this double corrugated with their dishes, china, glassware, lamps, and other fragile items!

 

 

For fans of vintage Gentle Giant, take a look at this great video starring our Director of Sales, Tom O’Gorman, as he walks viewers through the box selection!

 

 

How Gentle Giant Moving Company in Seattle Chooses Events to Sponsor

When Gentle Giant opened up a branch in Seattle, WA, we instantly got caught up in the vibrant community spirit, the wonderfully diverse people, and the fantastically challenging moves that required our Giants to put their training and skills to the test. Now that Gentle Giant has been in Seattle for over four years, we have a better understanding of what it will take to continue being successful.

For starters, people in Seattle care about quality, not only in the work being done, but in the people performing the work. Gentle Giant has always hired high quality people to do a high quality job, and that has paid off immensely in Seattle. The word of mouth is spreading about us, and we are looking to capitalize on that. Word about Gentle Giant is also getting out because we have attached ourselves to big community events that share our core values.

The Windermere Cup Regatta is a beautiful crew race hosted by the University of Washington, and is sponsored by Windermere Real Estate. Gentle Giant chose to sponsor a Hospitality Tent at the Regatta for several reasons. For starters, the Windermere Cup is a beloved event in the Seattle community. People and their families come from all over to soak up the fun on Lake Washington. In all of Gentle Giant’s regions, we are purposefully selective to find events that bring communities together in a fun way, and the Windermere Cup is no exception.

The Windermere Cup Regatta is also a big win for Gentle Giant because all of Windermere’s Real Estate Agents are present, and they are thrilled that Gentle Giant contributes so much to the event. For us, having strong relationships with Realtors is very important because they have a direct line to people moving, aka potential Gentle Giant customers.

Finally, Windermere Cup is a perfect event for us because of our long time association with the rowing community. Gentle Giant was founded by a rower, Larry O’Toole, and a lot of our company culture is rooted in the same values rowing has. Strength, endurance, synchronization with your team, and a “never quit” mentality.

We look forward to getting involved in even more terrific events in Seattle, and our other regions.

10 Questions You NEED to Ask Before Before Hiring a Mover

The entire moving process is long, complicated, and stressful, so the last thing you want to worry about is hiring an unqualified, unprofessional moving company to move you to your new home. That’s why Gentle Giant compiled this list of 10 Questions you NEED to ask while researching moving companies.  These questions will allow you to easily identify legit companies over other companies that cut several dangerous corners to keep their prices low.

To help, we’ve supplied Gentle Giant’s answers to each question.

1.) How do you select your employees?

Gentle Giant has an intensive interview process, complete with full background checks and physical endurance tests to insure each candidate will make a successful Giant. We also demand more than just athleticism and good backgrounds – moving can be very stressful so we hire interpersonally savvy people who can maintain stellar attitudes in the midst of challenging situations.  

2.) Do you provide benefits for the movers?

Gentle Giant provides health and dental insurance, 401k, short and long term disability, as well as additional Health and Wellness benefits, including compensated gym membership. Offering these benefits to employees isn’t just the right thing to do, it makes for better company culture and retention rates in an industry known for high personnel turnover and cheap labor.

3.) How many moves do you complete a year?

Across our national company, Gentle Giant completes over 13,000 moves annually. This number has continued to rise as we expand across the country and work closely with Realtors in the regions we work in. Gentle Giant has even grown during the down economy, which is another thing to ask a moving company: how well have they done over the last few years?

4.) If there’s a problem during the move, who will be handling it? Which department, individual, or a third party?

The Crew Chiefs Gentle Giant places in charge of moves are experienced, expert movers who have received extensive training which can often lead to the proper handling of claims right on the spot as they happen. However, if a problem needs further attention, Gentle Giant has a highly trained, in-house Quality Control Department that professionally and diligently handles every type of claim that comes in. In most cases, claims can be handled on the phone or in person by a handy Quality Control Field Representative, who can fix, repair, or replace almost anything.

5.) What type of estimates do you offer?

We offer hourly estimates and “not to exceed” estimates for local moves.  Binding estimates are offered for interstate moves.

6.)  Do you take credit cards?

Yes, as well as checks and cash.

7.) Are you (your company) a member of the American Moving and Storage Association, The Better Business Bureau, or are you listed as a Pro Mover?

Not only is Gentle Giant a part of the AMSA, but we were recognized by them as the Independent Mover of the Year in 2009. In all of Gentle Giant’s regions, we’re members of the Better Business Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce (we also won the much-coveted BBB Award for Marketplace Ethics).

8.) Does your company offer secure storage?

In all of Gentle Giant’s regions, we offer secure, fully insured temperature controlled storage options. Gentle Giant’s storage comes with a detailed inventory list for easy access to specific items in storage. Climate controlled storage (which is not the same as temperature controlled) is also available in most regions.

9.) Do you offer insurance for moving?

Gentle Giant offers Full Replacement Value Insurance, Actual Value Replacement Insurance, and Basic Liability Insurance. Insurance options are carefully explained to each customer during the booking process, and can be changed on the day of the move with the job’s Crew Chief.

10.) What makes you different from all the other movers?

Gentle Giant has been a leader in the moving industry because of our intense focus on customer service, the athleticism of the crews we send out on jobs, and our 100% Money Back Guarantee. Unheard of in the industry, this Guarantee states that Gentle Giant customers are entitled to a 100% money back satisfaction guarantee for each member of their moving crew: packer, driver, local mover, or long distance mover.

We hope that this has been helpful, and if in the end you want to go with Gentle Giant in one of our regions, including San Francisco, Seattle, Charlotte, Washington DC, Lorton, VA, New York, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, or Massachusetts, then please call us at 1-800-442-6863 or Request an Estimate Online.

10 Questions You NEED to Ask Before Hiring a Mover in Seattle

The entire moving process is long, complicated, and stressful, so the last thing you want to worry about hiring an unqualified, unprofessional moving company to move you and your family to your new home. This is why Gentle Giant‘s Seattle Branch has compiled a list of 10 Questions you NEED to ask while you are researching moving companies.  These questions will allow you to easily identify legit moving companies over other companies that cut several dangerous corners to keep their prices low.

To help, we have supplied Gentle Giant’s answers to each question.

1.) How do you select your employees?

Gentle Giant has an intensive interview process, complete with a full background check and a physical endurance test to make sure the candidate will make a successful Giant.

2.) Do you provide benefits for the movers?

Gentle Giant provides health and dental insurance, 401k, short and long term disability, as well as additional Health and Wellness benefits, including compensated gym membership.

3.) How many moves do you complete a year?

The number of moves Gentle Giant has done locally in Washington is only a fraction of the 13,000 moves Gentle Giant does nationally every year. This number has continued to rise as we expand across the country, strengthen relationships with Realtors in the regions we work in, and continue to grow our Interstate business.

4.) If there is a problem during the move, who will be handling it? Which department, individual, or a third party?

The Crew Chief’s Gentle Giant places in charge of moves are experienced, expert movers that have received extensive training which can often times can lead to the proper handling of claims right on the spot as they happen. However, if a problem needs further attention, Gentle Giant has a highly trained, in-house Quality Control Department that professionally and diligently handles every type of claim that comes in. In most cases, claims can be handled on the phone or in person by a handy Quality Control Field Representative, who can fix, repair, or replace almost anything.

5.) What type of estimates do you offer?

We offer hourly estimates and “not to exceed” estimates for local moves.  Binding estimates are offered for interstate moves.

6.)  Do you take credit cards?

Yes, as well as checks and cash.

7.) Are you (your company) a member of the American Moving and Storage Association, The Better Business Bureau, or are you listed as a Pro Mover?

Not only is Gentle Giant a part of the AMSA, but we were recognized as the Independent Mover of the Year in 2009 by the organization. In all of Gentle Giant’s regions, we are members of the Better Business Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce.

8.) Does your company offer secure storage?

Gentle Giant offers secure, fully insured storage options. Our storage comes with a detailed inventory list for easy access to specific items in storage. Climate controlled storage is also available in most regions.

9.) Do you offer insurance for moving?

Gentle Giant offers Full Replacement Value Insurance, Actual Value Replacement Insurance, and a Basic Liability Insurance. Insurance options are carefully explained to each customer during the booking process, and can be changed on the day of the move with the job’s Crew Chief.

10.) What makes you different from all the other movers?

Gentle Giant has been a leader in the moving industry because of our intense focus on customer service, the athleticism of the crews we send out on jobs, and our 100% Money Back Guarantee. Unheard of in the industry, this Guarantee states that Gentle Giant customers are entitled to a 100% money back satisfaction guarantee for each member of their moving crew: packer, driver, local mover, or long distance mover.

We hope that this has been helpful, and if in the end you want to go with Gentle Giant in Seattle, please call us at 1-800-442-6863 or Request an Estimate Online.