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Local

Keystone Laboratories celebrates 30 years of business

Keystone Laboratories has been in business for the past 30 years providing a variety of services to not only Iowa but throughout the country, while also evolving along the way.

Co-founder of Keystone Jeff King studied analytical chemistry receiving his doctorate from Iowa State University. He also worked for various other companies before making the moves to help start Keystone.

“I got some really excellent experience in that area and so I was able to take that in to the jobs that I took later on,” King said.

Keystone is a full-service environmental testing firm. King helped start the business along with his wife, Jodi, and another partner in 1990 and have been running and growing the business ever since. The third partner has since moved on according to King.

“We opened for business on Jan. 2, 1990, so a long time ago,” Jeff King said through laughter.

When Keystone first started in 1990, he said the timing seemed right with underground storage tank regulations going into effect which served as a springboard, as he called it, into the industry.

“We did exclusively underground tank work for the first year,” King said.

Keystone has since expanded past its Newton location into three others doing more than 100,000 samples every year in 38 different states. With this expansion and the amount of time Keystone has been around, the way the business functions has changed since the beginning.

“I used to know every client we had and I knew every sample that came in. Now we have thousands of clients and tens of thousands of samples every year,” King said.

With 30 years under his belt and clients throughout the United States, King has a few favorites when looking back on the work they have done.

“I think it has really given us the opportunity to make a difference in the community, for our staff, for our clients ... It has been really fulfilling,” he said.

Keystone will be hosting an after-hours chamber event on Thursday to not only celebrate the milestone but also to reflect on what brought the company to where it is today.

“We have got some pictures and stuff from some of our other buildings and when we have moved from one place to the next, and our staff over the years. So it’ll be fun to look through those,” King said.

According to King, they have spent the last 40 years calling Newton home while operating their business within it for 30 years. While they are celebrating their three decades of business they don’t quite yet know what the future holds for Keystone.

“It has been very rewarding to start something from nothing and see it expand into something large and helped a lot of people along the way, I think,” Jodi King said.

Jeff King added, “It is kind of overwhelming to think about how you extract yourself from something that you have been pretty much doing most of your life, so I guess it is easier to keep kicking the can down the road.”

Even thought the King’s aren’t quite sure yet what the future plans are, there is one thing that is certain. Newton has been their home for some time now and they don’t have plans to leave any time soon.

“I wouldn’t like to live anywhere else,” Jeff King said. “It’s home.”

Contact Dustin Teays at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or dteays@newtondailynews.com

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