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West Jordan Journal

Local battles cancer, bad moving experience, before opening own business

May 08, 2023 03:18PM ● By Linda Steele

Anthony Starace bumps fists with an officer on a horse at Arlington National Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of Rachael Starace)

Anthony and Rachel Starace want their new business to be run with morals. That’s why what they believe is right in the name. 

Anthony Starace is an army veteran who opened up a moving and junk removal business called College HUNKS, a new moving business that aims to provide “Honest, Uniform, Nice and Knowledgeable Service,” or in short: HUNKS.

“We really want to highlight the “H” in our business, that our guys are humans. The employees that work for College HUNKS have had experience in the area of being a lead plumber, another employee played for UCLA and a couple of high school hunks. When you add the human aspect to the business, you know who’s coming into your home, moving your belongings, it's not just a normal mover,” Anthony Starace said, 

With a passion for those in need, Anthony wants to give back to the community. By opening the business he feels he can give back by sorting out other people's junk and taking the good, usable items to those in need. 

Rachel Starace is the recruiter of College HUNKS and she painted the mural of the mountains on the interior of their business. Anthony is from Arizona, Rachel is from Michigan. They actively started working on the business in October 2022 then opened up for business April 6 from their office at 7114 S. Redwood Road. The business already has eight to 10 employees in the short time they have been open. 

Anthony has an entrepreneurial mind. While in the military for seven years, he would move ammo and food for the troops. When he got out of the military he wanted to focus on business. He was a yacht sales broker in Florida for nine months and wanted to learn about sales. He learned how to deal with VIPs, millionaires, billionaires and focus on his customer success. Then he joined a startup as a customer success manager. He got to see the whole picture on the business side. 

They moved to Utah and he was offered a job through a small logistics company. He got skills and training, then he decided to start his own business. After three months in Utah, he left his logistics job. 

He received a DM on LinkedIn from Dana Hansen, Franchise Director from College HUNKS Hauling Junk. Hansen asked Anthony if he wanted to open up a moving company. Anthony told him no because he had a bad experience with some movers when he moved to Salt Lake. 

The movers were two and a half months late and broke $6,000 worth of their items. Anthony and Rachel slept on an air mattress for a long time due to that loss. The movers were hard to work with. Anthony told Hansen, “why would I want to open up a moving company when I just got screwed over by a moving company?” 

Hansen called Anthony and said, “why don’t you change the stigma about movers?” 

Anthony was skeptical, but after hearing more about the franchise from those within the franchise, people would say, “focus on the values and everything else will come.” 

Anthony thought more about the franchise and decided to look into it, because he is passionate about honesty and helping people. Anthony decided to try it. 

“I’m a very passionate person, I love leadership. I focus on my people and the community, and that is where we are at,” he said. 

Getting the business started was hard on more than one level. Starting any business comes with its challenges, but Anthony is also a year and a half into a battle against cancer. 

“It is like having your hands tied behind your back, starting a business and leading the troops per say, it has been very difficult. But what has been enjoyable is I can dive into it more. My passion and wanting to serve people really fueled me. I really enjoy connecting with people. I visited a senior living center and told them all about what we do and what we are all about. I really enjoyed the visit and they were so happy with our help and talking to us,” Anthony said. 

When Anthony joined the military, both he and Rachel knew that he wasn’t going to be in the military for an entire career, so they discussed what life afterwards. They put in the paperwork to leave the military. When the time came around for the final day, Covid hit. 

Military service is where Anthony could have stayed, but his said his passion lied elsewhere, he thought it was yacht sales, then it slowly evolved into starting his own business. 

He loves community building and giving back. Anthony tells his guys, “We are going to do some of the dirty jobs to give back to the great jobs and bless those people who are moving out of their house in a poor situation and look them in the face and say ‘don’t worry about it, we will take care of it.’” He assures people that “we are HUNKS and we are humans, we are going to do everything possible to make sure this happens today,” Anthony said. 

When Anthony interviews prospective employees he doesn’t wait to see if they answer the question right. “I really like to hear what their passion is, and what drives them when they are not at work. I like to feel their energy and hear their goals and ask questions. If I can’t feel their energy and passion, I know they aren’t a good fit.” λ