“A guy pulled up with a trailer: said Clevenger. “He had a jet engine”
Clevenger, who just opened his shop Kent Cash Outlet at 3922 West River Dr. in downtown Comstock Park, didn’t take the jet engine thinking it might be hard to sell. There was another pretty major reason he couldn’t take the engine.
“We couldn’t fit it through the door,” he said. “But it was pretty cool to look at.”
Clevenger’s son Joe Korcal, who works at the shop, said the man who wanted to sell the engine was into drag racing and put jet engines on his cars.
Clevenger first opened his pawn shop called North Kent Outlet on 14 Mile Road in Rockford in 2010 and moved it to downtown Comstock Park changing the name to Kent Cash Outlet where it opened April 2. They’ve sent out 3000 mailers to announce the opening in their new space. Clevenger said business at the old location was good, but he likes downtown Comstock Park for several reasons.
“The denser population, to get amongst other businesses, the foot traffic (from) the park, the White Pine Trail, (customers) at the restaurants,” he said. “We were standalone on Fourteen Mile.
Korcal, gave his dad the idea to open a pawn shop. Clevenger worked at Steelcase for 13 years before he lost his job due to downsizing, and he had “to reinvent myself.” He started a business which he still runs - Pond and Pool Pros. He treats ponds for algae and pests, and opens, closes, and cleans swimming pools. That is summer employment, and he needed year round work. His son was working for a pawn shop in the area and suggested his dad open one in Rockford where the family lives.
Being new to the pawn shop business, Clevenger said he had to educate himself about things like regulations, licensing to carry precious metals, and paperwork for the Kent County Sheriff’s Department.
Clevenger said his shop is a great place to get good bargains on jewelry. He also carries rare coins, sports equipment, knives, video games, DVDs, car speakers, amps, musical instruments, and lots more. He is not licensed to have guns except muzzleloaders. He said the “inventory constantly fluctuates.” Besides direct mailers, he advertises in the Advance and the Rockford Squire, and places like restaurant placemats, and pizza box tops.
One of the things Clevenger likes about the pawn shop business is that he meets a “wide diversity of people.” He also likes that he’s helping people “when they need short term money.” He points out that the money a person gets for an item they bring in may make a difference in keeping the heat on in their home or not.
When he was located in Rockford, the high school had a jewelry making class, and Clevenger donated stones to the class from jewelry that he only wanted for the metal. He also donates bows and knives to the Wild Turkey Association for a wounded veterans event.
Clevenger is originally from Greenville, graduating from Greenville High School and then taking business classes at Grand Rapids Community College. He and his wife Alice live in Rockford. Besides their son Joe, they have two grown daughters, a grandson, and a granddaughter. When he’s not working, Clevenger enjoys fishing, kayaking, hunting, motorcycles, and the cabin the couple has on the Pere Marquette River.