Access Self Storage was founded in 1976 by the husband and wife team of Ken and Foy Cooley. There were no storage facilities in the northeast when they became interested in the concept. In fact, no one had ever heard of self storage. The Cooleys were financial analysts on Wall Street in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. On a trip to North Carolina to visit Foy’s grandmother, they spied an odd looking building and had to stop to investigate it. That was their introduction to self storage.
Since their background was to analyze business prospects, they could see some of the opportunities. A year after that trip, they decided to develop one in New Jersey. The first Access Self Storage opened in Eatontown, NJ in the fall of 1976. It was the first self storage facility to open in the greater New York metropolitan area. They have devoted all of their time to self storage ever since.
“Self storage is our only business and we are passionate about it.” – Foy Cooley
The Cooleys have been industry leaders and innovators. Ken designed the first individual alarm system that became the premier system for the industry. They were the first in New Jersey to offer customers the use of a free moving truck with their rental.
Both Ken and Foy have been very active in the trade associations servicing the self storage industry. Ken helped form the Northeast Region of the Self Storage Association in 1977, served on the regional and national boards for many years, and was President of the Self Storage Association in 1991. Foy has served on both regional and national boards since 1996 and was President of the Self Storage Association in 2001. She has been inducted into the Self Storage Association Hall of Fame in 2009. The Cooleys helped found the New Jersey Self Storage Association, with Foy being its treasurer from 1997 to 2000, and is currently a trustee and holds the office of Secretary.