A LOCAL focus with service you can depend on is what defines MEM Removals.
From humble beginnings, the Cairns-based business originally started in Mossman in 1996 with just one small truck and soon grew into a fleet of interstate trucks with storage facilities.
MEM co-founder Elaine Bertoncini, who owns MEM together with husband Stephen, says hard work, team effort and sacrifice in the early days helped them become one of Cairns’ most popular removal services.
With a wave of celebrities including John Farnham and former US president Bill Clinton visiting Port Douglas in the mid-1990s, the town soon experienced a mini-population boom which paid dividends for MEM.
“One of our first customers was an interior designer who was renovating the villas and condos at the original Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort. She asked if we could pick up furniture from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Being young and enthusiastic, we went “Of course we can”,” Elaine recalls.
“She opened the doors for us getting into the interstate business.”
Through word of mouth and a dedication to stellar customer service, MEM soon grew rapidly in the area.
“We wouldn’t be where we are without the support of our local clients,” Elaine says.
The business eventually moved to Cairns about 11 years ago as it grew out of its Mossman depot.
“Even though we have been successful in winning removal contracts with government departments and the Australian Defence Force, we’ve never forgotten our roots,” Elaine says.
“If a cane farmer rings me from Miallo for instance, we’ll still give our locals a discount and bend over backwards to help them.”
Having since consolidated their fleet to four trucks and 12 staff with a focus on removals in the Far North, MEM is still able to conduct interstate removals by making use of shipping containers and rail transport.
“We’ve stayed quite stable in our growth since consolidating. What we’ve felt has happened with other removal companies is as they’ve got bigger they lose their personal touch,” Elaine says.
“Whereas our customers deal directly with us. They can pop in to the depot here in Cairns and have a chat which gives them piece of mind.”
With Stephen and Elaine also now running training firm Alpha Truck and Training, it’s an exciting time for MEM as the couple looks to the future.
“Our goal is simply to look after our many customers and make sure we do a proper job,”