Being born into a family of business owners, it was only natural for 2004 Adel-DeSoto-Minburn graduate Derek ‘Joe’ Yeoman, 29, to launch his own start-up company, GrandBox, only a few months ago.
Yeoman, who currently resides in Chicago, and co-founder Andy Papier decided to start up a company geared toward sending personal care packages to their relatives who they don’t see often.
“Our generation has moved farther away from home so sometimes it’s harder to see those loved ones,” Yeoman said. “We aren’t being a replacement for seeing the family, but, rather, are giving them something that says ‘I wish I could see you more.’”
Each month, gifts including healthy products, tasty snacks, pictures, and letters can be sent to loved ones.
“Our long-term goal is to be able to walk into a nursing home and see people smiling,” Yeoman said.
“The whole goal is to bring smiles to seniors (because) it’s a surprise every month that makes them feel warm inside.”
Although the company just launched, Yeoman said his first goal is to be 100 percent self-sustaining.
“Most people don’t realize you have to pay taxes and permit fees…we have to make sure we dotted our ‘I’s’ and crossed our ‘T’s’,” he said. “It’s taken a little longer than I wanted, but when you are starting a business at 5 p.m. each day it does take time.”
Yeoman said he is looking to find a permanent headquarters and then look for part-time employees-only those who are in the process of retiring or are retired.
“We really want to stick to that demographic and are trying to find those who are in the process of being retired or are retired who want to do good in the world,” he said. To learn more about GrandBox, visit http://mygrandbox.com/.