With over 25 years as a funeral director and embalmer, Joe Kalmer has plenty of experience within the death care industry.
Joe initially became interested in mortuary science at a young age. As a child, he was a big fan of Quincy, M.E. – a hit TV show about a forensic scientist who investigated mysterious deaths.
In high school, Joe worked part-time at a funeral home before moving on to Southern Illinois University. He received his B.S. in Mass Communications with a Business minor and was still considering a profession as a mortician. He later decided to pursue his passion and began studying at Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Chicago.
“I’m proud of my time at Worsham because it was a pretty rigorous program,” said Kalmer. “They had a reputation for working their students hard, but everything I learned during my time there really helped me become successful in the death care industry.”
Growing a Death Care Business
Joe began working at Pletcher Funeral Home for his apprenticeship after completing Worsham’s demanding program. He continued working as a funeral director at Pletcher for eight years, until his boss eventually sold him the company in 2009. Joe then merged with a neighboring funeral home and was employed by them for eight years. He then decided he wanted to “be the owner” again by becoming a professional discount provider of cremation services, as he was aware the trends in the industry were leaning heavily toward cremation. He then started Kalmer Memorial Services.
“The business model was built around affordable cremation services,” said Joe. “I noticed a few growing trends within the industry. Funeral services were becoming less traditional, and there continued to be an increased demand for cremation every year. So I built my businesses around those insights, and they have proven to be very successful.”
The national cremation rate has been steadily increasing every year, and is projected to reach 54.3 percent by 2020, according to the Cremation Association of North America (CANA).
Joe recognized this trend before others in the industry – and it showed in his business analytics. During Kalmer Memorial Service’s first year, Joe exceeded his goal client base by 17 percent, and in the following year, he more than doubled that goal.
“When you see that kind of exponential increase in just one year within the same company, it only validates that there is a strong demand for affordable cremation services,” said Joe. “I was very pleased to outperform my projections.”
Franchising to Accommodate Growing Demand
Joe later acquired St. Louis-based American Cremation Services and only saw his business continue to exceed expectations. At the urging of one of his friends within the legal industry, Joe decided to turn his successful business model into a franchise opportunity – creating Cypress Pointe Cremations.
“I wanted to establish Cypress Pointe because it’s a unique business opportunity with high demand,” said Joe. “Not a lot of people in the industry offer cremation – or any funeral service, for that matter – that’s cost-effective.”
Joe has seen plenty of profitability and expansion within his businesses but says this franchise opportunity is more than just about profits.
“Funeral service is not a business to me – it’s a vocation,” said Joe. “What brings our customers back is that we are genuine. We really care about them and support them as much as possible during their time of need. I’m excited that now, we will be able to have an even wider reach and serve even more people.”
For more information about the Cypress Pointe Cremation franchise opportunity, contact us here at (618) 741-7835 or by email at Joe@cypresspointecremation.com
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