Working for a Living for April 25, 2013

For Weekly SurgeApril 23, 2013 

Dane Frye (left) and Chad Smith at their produce stand on 29th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach. Photo by Janet Blackmon Morgan for Weekly Surge.

JANET BLACKMON MORGAN — jblackmon@thesunnews.com Buy Photo

Dane Frye: Making the (Clean) Cut

Dane Frye, originally from Hamlet, N.C., came to Myrtle Beach for what he thought was going to be a summertime stop. At the time, he had a plan to go to the West Coast. He says that once he got here, he had a good time and got a job with Ritz Limousines and eventually became general manager of that operation. He has now been here for more than 20 years. “I just decided that I like the Carolinas and there was no need for me to go anywhere else,” he says. “I have been happy here.”

While in the limo business, Frye met Chad Smith, and over time the friends decided to start an undertaking called Assemble It. “People would get treadmills or ellipticals or whatever, and we would go and put them together – and when we went to these jobs, more people kept asking if we did moving.”

This evolved into a business called 2 Clean Cut Guys [ www.2cleancutguys.com], an outfit that has been in operation for five years. “We have a different niche than traditional moving companies,” he says “We provide the moving labor and all of the equipment you would need and we assist our customers with their rental trucks.” Smith and Frye are on hand to load and unload for their customers – and have grown a reputation doing this. Frye says the company is listed on Angie’s List with a good rating and adds that that local storage facilities regularly refer 2 Clean Cut Guys. “Moving is not a vacation. We always joke and say that it brings couples closer together. It’s a stressful process anyway because nobody ever realizes how much they have.”

Recently, 2 Clean Cut Guys has diversified by going into produce [ www.MyrtleBeachProduce.com]. This month they opened a stand on 29th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach – while still keeping the moving business going. Frye asserts that the idea came out of left field while he was on jury duty. “The guy sitting next to me was in the produce business, and we were talking about what he did.” They also discussed the location on 29th, which was available. “So basically, here we are.”

Until local farms start producing consistently – Smith and Frye make biweekly trips to the South Carolina State Farmers Market in West Columbia to stock up. They head out at 2-3 a.m. to West Columbia and then set up at the stand in Myrtle Beach – and when not making these trips, they sometimes have moving jobs to do before they open at 9 a.m. But Smith’s father-in-law helps with the moving business as does one other part-time person.

In regard to local farms consistently producing, Frye cites this year’s extended winter. “That could delay the harvests,” he says. Different [varieties] come out at different periods throughout the year: From tomatoes and watermelons to mustard greens and asparagus.” The intention is to go year-round.

2 Clean Cut Guys have a system in place called a Fresh Produce Alert. “When things come in – as soon as we get them and as fresh as you can get them, we send out an e-mail alert.” We saw Smith handling this process at the time of this interview – alerting customers about huge, juicy strawberries.

We asked Frye, 41, if youth was still on his side with the moving aspect. Smith is 35.

“That’s why we’re doing this,” he says – meaning produce. “We have scaled back to basically what Chad and I can handle.”

And while Frye says he puts in more than 70 hours a week, decompression takes place in his golf cart. “Sometimes I’ll drive it down to the produce stand. Believe it or not, the golf cart is kind of like my little thing. I don’t even turn on the radio – I just cruise around and relax.” He enjoys walking his rescue greyhound and hitting up local, mom-and-pop eateries.

Frye has a 13-year-old daughter. “Once in a while when Chloe is here, I might get to go to Broadway at the Beach.” He admits that as she gets older, his cool factor is starting to dip. “I’m hanging in there. I was cool once – I’ll be back again.”

Both Smith and Frye say that the 2 Clean Cut Guys concept is an umbrella for these businesses and an incubator for future endeavors. “This is just part of what Chad and I do. We work on other ideas, too.”

Frye’s summertime stop became two decades. Does he plan on staying put?

“Yes. This is it. I’ve got the sand between my toes,” he says. “I’ve been other places and love to go other places – but I like coming back home. When you go to other places, you have a greater appreciation for being here.”

Know of a local with an interesting job or career that should be given the Working 4 A Living treatment? Contact Roger Yale at rgyale@gmail.com

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