If you had the opportunity to name your business whatever you wanted, what would you go with? In the case of cousins, Jay Mentzel and Jeff Sonne, they went with Ruby Recycling a potentially strange name if your not in the jewelry business until you understand their why.
Ruby was the nickname of their grandfather, a super influential man in both of their lives and a name that brings a huge smile to both of their faces when they tell their story and how Ruby Recycling came to be in the first place.
The two cousins are not multi-generation owners, but they are cut from a similar cloth as most others are in the scrap metal recycling industry that didn’t grow up in it. Deal makers, entrepreneurs, dreamers, builders….
Getting their start in the industry just over 10 years ago, the cousins had the opportunity to work alongside each other for years before deciding to make the leap together to start Ruby Recycling. Cutting their teeth with a small company (at the time both Jay and Jeff started) GLR Advanced Recycling, and having been a large part of its growth from 1 to 7 recycling facilities it became apparent to both Jay and Jeff they had the chops to build and grow a business in the recycling industry. So off they went.
After sitting out a year with a non-compete, and almost another full year while they worked to locate a site, and get the first Ruby Recycling facility set up for business, the two men were chomping at the bit to get the party started…. Officially located in Lincoln Park, Michigan, Ruby Recycling sits on 5 acres and has officially been open for just over a year. A specialized system of buying complete cars still makes up a large part of their business model, but the cousins also pride themselves on their ability to get dealer/commercial customers with loads of ferrous and non-ferrous scrap in and out of their facility in a timely manner. Jay and Jeff decided to not take retail trade at this facility because they wanted to concentrate their efforts on auto processing and commercial business, potentially adding a future location that is more retail-focused if and when the right opportunity presents itself.
I have a feeling these two are just getting started… and it will be fun to watch their journey!