Starting a self storage business could not have been a more easy decision for Brian Haskins of High Ridge, Mo. After having grown up beside a local farm in the 1960s where he and his family kept some horses, cows and chickens and grew pumpkins as a fundraiser for his kid’s baseball team, he returned in 1991 to purchase the farm and sell horse and cows as well as begin a landscaping business.
The idea to start a self storage facility came about by accident when by 2001, he was letting a few neighbors use extra space on the farm to store boats and trailers. It was easy for him to see he could make a lot of money by opening the space up to the public. He quickly sold his livestock and converted 13 acres of pasture into Antire-44 Haskins Storage.
He started with a 15,000-square foot storage building and kept building more units every year. Now Haskins serves 575 tenants with 35,000 square feet of indoor storage and 400 parking spaces for boats and campers. He said he has one of the largest boat and RV parking facilities in the Midwest.
Haskins said his landscaping business had been hit hard by the recession, because his main business came from landscaping new homes.
“When the builders dried up, we slowly moved to just storage,” Haskins said. He said he feels lucky that he already had the storage business established so he could just shift gears and ride out the bad economy.
The business has turned into a family affair with Haskins’ wife and one of his sons working with him at the storage facility. His home actually is built in the center of the storage yard which adds to the security of the facility.
The remainder of the farm still houses chickens and an old log cabin that he believes dates back to the 1860s. Haskins gives back to his community where he grew up and attended the local Northwest High School. He currently serves on the Northwest School Board.
“It’s an honor to serve nearly 7,000 children,” he said. He also serves on the High Ridge Fire Protection District’s Board of Directors, the Northwest Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club. Haskins said he’s happy working for his community and doesn’t plan to run for any higher office.
His favorite hobby is cheering on his daughter Sarah Haskins, who is an Olympic triathlete. He painted the roof of his barn in her honor when she qualified for the Beijing Olympics and hopes to add another banner if she makes the London Olympics next year.
Bertacchi, Denise. “Family Farm Grows Into Thriving Storage Facility.” Patch.com. July 26, 2011.