New Self-Storage Owner Glad to do Business in Union County

Knox Union Storage owners Jay and Erika Gulledge at Spruce Flats in the Smokies

Two Union County self-storage facilities have a new owner, Jay Gulledge, and he’s delighted to be doing business in Union County.

“I’ve found that the people here in Union County are responsible, hard-working, nice people,” he said. “It’s rewarding to serve a population that is mostly hard-working folks that are doing their best to take care of their families every day. Union County is a friendly, straightforward place do to business.”

Gulledge hails from northern Virginia and moved to East Tennessee for a job at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In spring of last year, he lost his job due to budget cuts, and Gulledge and his wife decided to stay in their home in South Knoxville. It was time for a change of career, so Gulledge and wife Erika invested in real estate and purchased two storage facilities in Union County.

The first location, formerly named County Line Storage, is on Maynardville Hwy near Tolliver’s Market and across the street from Krazy Kester’s fireworks. Gulledge purchased it in February 2017 and changed the name to KnoxUnion Storage.

That site offers 120 units plus parking for trailer storage, plus security from a fence, automated gate and security cameras. Gulledge said he’s put in a lot of work at the site to improve security and drainage, and the units tend to stay full.

“We’re very dedicated to making it as good a facility as we can,” he said.

In October 2017, Gulledge purchased another storage facility in Luttrell, near Luttrell Elementary School on Tazewell Pike. The Luttrell site has 49 units and lacks the high security features of the larger site, but it offers lower rental rates. Gulledge said neither site is “fancy,” but both are very competitive price-wise and offer excellent customer service.

Why did he choose to go into self-storage? Gulledge said he saw a need and decided to fill it.

“People need storage. There’s a demand for it, and Union County was actually underserved,” he said.

But he’s also found it rewarding to provide people with a needed service during what are often important times in their lives.

“I find that people come to us in their greatest moment of need, either positive or negative,” he said. “Maybe they’ve bought a new house, or a loved one has passed away, or they’re going through a divorce. It really is rewarding in that you’re providing a need to people at the most critical time in their lives.”

He’s even made contact with a community charity to support. Open Doors Outreach Ministry of Luttrell receives complimentary storage at the Luttrell site, and when people abandon useful items at the site, Gulledge lets Open Doors Outreach Ministry take the items and give them to folks in need.

“It’s people like that that make it a very rewarding experience to serve this community,” he said.

Joe Dancing Bear of Open Doors Outreach Ministry even wrote Gulledge this note: "Thanks for all you do Jay! That headboard you gave us went to a local family yesterday. The lady was so thankful. We are getting the word out about you and your storage units. We are highly recommending you and your business!"

The offices aren’t on-site, but Gulledge provides service via website at www.knoxunionstorage.com and phone at 865-658-1448. Folks can rent a unit completely online and receive a gate code via email, or they can call and talk to a real person. Gulledge said the phones are answered, and if they’re on another line they return calls as soon as possible.

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