Morena Storage has been part of the San Diego and North County community for 30 years. Its brand name is 5 Star Storage, and that’s what the company strives to offer its customers at two locations — Morena Storage and Solana Beach Storage.
When you walk in the front door, the smell of freshly baked cookies wafts through the air. It’s one of the customer perks offered along with free bottled water, coffee, tea and candy.
“We want our guests to be comfortable,” explains general manager David Bubnash. “Moving is stressful and can be difficult. The water keeps our guests hydrated and refreshed. The free cookies and candy are a treat for our guests to show our appreciation for their business. Plus baking the cookies makes the office smell great!”
Customers are invited to sit down and discuss their storage needs first so staff members can figure out exactly what they need in terms of storage room size.
“We feel it is not our guest’s job to know what they need, it is our job to determine what they need,” says Bubnash. “To do this, we interview our guests to see what their situation is. Once we know what their needs are and what they are storing, we can determine what they need and how we can best help them.”
When a customer rents the indoor storage space on one of three floors, they get the free use of the company’s 15-foot moving truck and a crewmember to load the truck at the customer’s home or business. After the move-in is complete, crew members will also help to move anything in and out of the unit during the length of their stay for free.
5 Star Storage also offers customers a free lock to use with double-lock security. Bubnash explains: “One lock is issued to the customer and our employees have the key to the second lock. Each guest must sign in for their visit. Once signed in, the guest is escorted to their storage room. We remove our lock, and the guest opens their lock. When the guest leaves, they lock their lock and we secure the room by putting our lock back on. A record is kept for each visit both by the day and by each individual room.”
The company also provides free shelving and free plastic to protect stored items in a climate-controlled environment which never goes below 65 degrees or higher than 85 degrees. There are 12 storage managers on staff who are available seven days a week.
A wide range of customers walk through the door each day because everyone has different moving needs. “Our client base ranges from students to young professionals to families to retired people,” Bubnash said. " Basically, anyone in transition is a potential customer. We also have long-term guests who use us as their ‘closet’ to storage seasonal items or personal keepsakes.”
The company also supports several nonprofits by storing its items for free, including Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Make a Wish Foundation and Honor Flight.
5 Star Storage also offers a protection plan for free — something other companies usually charge extra for. The protection plan is basically a warranty that protects the customer if there’s damage to a customer’s items while in storage. “Renting a storage unit is similar to renting an apartment,” explains Bubnash. “You may have renter’s or homeowner’s insurance for your items which may cover your items while in storage. However, you probably have a deductible. Our protection plan provides additional coverage with no deductible, so no out-of-pocket expense.”
There’s also a customer lounge and a retail space at the front of the building to purchase boxes and packing supplies. If a customer buys more than $100 of supplies on a visit, the company will deliver the supplies within a five-mile radius for free. Both facilities have oversized elevators to make moving easier, free use of carts and dollies, as well as carpeting on the upper floors.
Morena Storage and Solana Beach Storage offer month-to-month leases and bill in one-month increments. No advance notice is required to vacate. You have to be 18 or over and have a valid ID and credit card in order to rent storage space.
• Visit Morena Storage at 908 Sherman St., San Diego, (619) 299-4444. 5starstorage.com
• Visit Solana Beach Storage at 545 Stevens Ave. West, Solana Beach, (858) 755-5550. 5starstorage.com
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