As a second-generation owner and operator, I’m extremely humbled to be in my position. My parents started in 1973 as contractors in the cleaning industry, and it soon became their livelihood as they supported our large family of eight. My father passed when I was very young and my mother continued to operate and grow the business for many years.
As the second-youngest of my siblings, I remember growing up inside the grocery stores that my parents cleaned or stripped and waxed at night. All too often, myself and my brothers would be spotted sitting in the baskets on top of the rollers in parcel pick-up, being pushed back and forth like it was a roller coaster at an amusement park. Back then, it was common for contractors to be given access to most retail or commercial buildings with their own key and code.
Some of the clients we’ve served have recalled these unique moments in our company history.
Back then, there were reduced store hours, Sunday closures, and no staff or customers on site for 36+ hours at a time.
How times have changed...
Fast forward to age 15, when I began my journey cleaning, stripping and waxing, and conducting small engine repair and rebuilds. During my high school and university years, I would work evenings and nights, cleaning locations such as call centres, car dealerships, and large grocery retailers.
Employees still working with the company today would agree that it wasn’t unusual to see myself or other family members working alongside them at night, and also assisting with operations during the day.
In March 2012, my role shifted and the company faced a very significant moment in its history. We were operating as a sole proprietor company, managing a few clients with a very small staff base. As times started to change, so did the demand of the clients we serviced. It was critical for the company to evolve rather quickly and adapt.
We went from an era of verbal agreements - or a “spit & a handshake” - to an official contract for the very first time. This was not something myself or my parents were accustomed to - however, it was “a grow or die situation,” so to speak.
My wife Tanisha has been alongside me in business since the beginning of our relationship. Like myself, she has also worked on sites and assisted me with the growth and development of the operation.
In 2013, we doubled our contracts literally overnight. Throughout the years, our staff base has grown substantially based on the needs of the clients. Our company has been noted as one of the top industry leaders servicing Sobeys; we have been in partnership with Sobeys for as many years as we’ve been in operation. In fact, our company has been around longer than BIG 8 pop!
At the end of the day, we couldn’t have done this without our staff. We truly appreciate the support from each and every employee, and we look forward to the company’s expansion and growth in coming years.
-Jude Clish, CEO