For the past five years, Stacks Secure Records has been working to grow its regional presence and sees Greater Kansas City as a gateway to the Missouri market. The Topeka-based record storage company has enjoyed brisk business throughout Kansas over the past 20 years but gaining traction in Missouri was a challenge.
“We have customers there but we just weren’t getting an inroad. I spoke with other Topeka business owners who had successfully expanded into Kansas City, and they said their business didn’t take off until they had a brick-and-mortar location in the market,” said Cheryl Creviston, president and CEO of Stacks. “We thought, ‘Okay, we are going to do what winners do,’ and that means we needed a physical presence in Kansas City.”
Seeking a premier location in Kansas City, Creviston began looking at primarily underground sites in the metro area. When her team visited SubTropolis, she said they were immediately impressed.
“We were looking for a showplace. We need it to show really well. Just driving through SubTropolis, with its well maintained roads and signage, we knew we found the right fit. We looked at two other underground facilities, and nothing compared to Hunt Midwest. Overall, the facility is top-notch, clean and well-maintained.” — Cheryl Creviston, President & CEO of Stacks Secure Records
Finding a centralized location and the ability to scale operations quickly were key to the company’s growth strategy, making SubTropolis a good fit: “SubTropolis has fantastic signage and highway access, so we could check off that box. We only needed 30,000 square feet to start with, but Hunt Midwest was clear that if we needed more space, there was always room to grow.”
Sealing the deal for Creviston’s team was SubTropolis’ underground, climate-controlled location that is ideal for records storage. SubTropolis remains a comfortable 70-degrees year-round due to its underground location. “People’s faces light up when I say we have a record storage center there. I think it matters that we have chosen the best facility in KC,” she said.
Hunt Midwest sales and leasing manager Ryan Tompkins worked with Creviston and her team to identify needs and expectations, then offered a variety of options to help the company find the best space solution.
“Ryan was great to work with. He showed us several options and really worked to help us find the best solution. One thing that impressed me was the Hunt Midwest team didn’t bad-mouth the competition. They only talked about what they had to offer,” Creviston said.
Although Stacks (formally known as Jayhawk File Express) was ready to invest in a physical location in Kansas City, the company realized its use of KU’s red, blue and yellow mascot in its name created an identity crisis. The bird evoked both positive and negative emotions in Kansas depending on allegiances and geography, but across the border in Missouri many potential clients couldn’t see past the name.
“There are quite a few Missouri Tiger fans in Kansas City, so our name started to feel limiting and short-sighted. We decided we wanted a new name that was unique and better explained what we do,” Creviston said.
The company fast-tracked a complete overhaul of its corporate identity, brand and logo, changing its name from Jayhawk File Express to Stacks, which evokes images of stacks of records and data as well as digital storage.
“We did the fast run. Most companies spend a year planning and executing a rebranding, and we completed it in about 6 months,” Creviston said. “But in the end it’s been worth it. Our customers still know us and know who we are. And now with our new corporate identity and a new physical location in Kansas City at SubTropolis, we feel like the deck is truly ‘stacked’ in our favor.”