Kwame Duffy knew the business of providing services for the elderly was a fast-growing field. He just didn’t know how fast.
Duffy started Black Pearl Home Care, which provides in-home assistance to seniors, just more than three years ago in Murray. With the recent opening of a Black Pearl location at 1042 Fairview Ave. in Bowling Green, Duffy’s business venture now has three locations.
“I never thought about expanding,” said Duffy, a Murray native and 2013 Murray State University graduate. “But we started picking up customers in Paducah, so we opened an office there. The same thing happened in Bowling Green.”
Black Pearl opened its Bowling Green location last month in a former Franklin Bank & Trust branch, but Duffy said he had plenty of experience with the city.
Before launching Black Pearl, Duffy worked in the turf grass management field and often came to Bowling Green to call on such clients as Indian Hills Country Club.
“Bowling Green became super attractive to me,” he said. “I came here frequently and loved it.”
The business model that brought Duffy to Bowling Green this time isn’t new. Home Instead Senior Care, Visiting Angels and other companies have cropped up to meet the demands of an aging population.
Duffy saw an opportunity in the nation’s changing demographics. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that between now and the year 2050 the population that is 65 and older will more than double while the population under age 20 will see almost no growth.
Many of those seniors are opting to stay at home, where they almost inevitably need help with day-to-day chores.
That’s where companies like Black Pearl come in.
“I started with the idea of trying to keep seniors in their home as long as possible,” Duffy said. “We assist with the activities of daily living. We’re a non-medical agency, but the scope of what we can do is pretty broad.”
Duffy is still hiring full-time and part-time staff for the 3,300-square-foot Bowling Green location.
He said the business will provide assistance with such daily living activities as bathing, dressing, eating and grooming. Black Pearl staff can also help with meal preparation, shopping, housecleaning, medication reminders and transportation to and from medical appointments.
Duffy isn’t ruling out further expansion. For now, though, he said “we’re taking it a step at a time. Our primary focus is on helping people in Bowling Green.”
– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit bgdailynews.com.