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Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 4:00 PM
WEST CHESTER TWP. — Homer Rice started HRS Janitorial Service & Supplies in West Chester Twp. back when the community was known for its expansive farms, not its numerous commercial enterprises.
Now the 86-year-old is shutting down the family-owned company after more than four decades in business.
HRS Janitorial Service & Supplies, which will close in the coming few weeks, caters to medium and small businesses in the Tri-State area, providing professional janitorial and cleaning services, floor cleaning, stripping and waxing and commercial carpet cleaning. It also offers a full line of janitorial supplies and equipment.
The company got its start as a cleaning business in Rice’s home in 1974 at the tail end of his career with General Motors.
“I knew some people in the janitorial business so I thought I’d give it a try,” he said. “I wanted to get something for my boys to work with and have part time jobs. I put them to work when they weren’t in school.”
Rice moved the business to 9118 Cincinnati Columbus Road in 1998.
“We wanted to go into the sales part of it and have cleaning and sales (divisions) so that’s why we bought this place,” he said.
No job was too large or too small, and Rice had HRS tackling everything from executive office buildings, commercial office and warehouse buildings, malls and truck terminals to restaurants, school and churches. The company’s clients have included such notables as Time Warner, Ford and General Electric.
“I’ve worked all over,” Rice said. “Anything that comes open, I’d do it.”
He’s particularly proud of the way floors turned out after HRS completed a waxing job, continuing to shine long after the work was done.
“It looked like it was wet the next morning,” he said.
The biggest lesson Rice said he has learned is something has been his motto all along: always keep the customer satisfied.
Rice decided to close HRS and sell its property to an automobile detailing business because much of the janitorial company’s product sales disappeared.