It’s hard to miss the gleaming new, 7,500-square-foot Stanley Steemer building on State Road 54, across the entrance from Oakstead. It sits proudly by itself on this premium piece of real estate in the booming Lutz and Land O’ Lakes communities, surrounded by thousands of new and existing homes and businesses.
Most people passing by do not realize that this Stanley Steemer is locally owned and part of a decades-old business that employs three generations of family members.
The Lutz operation is co-owned by Chet and CJ White, a father-and-son team that has owned the Stanley Steemer operation in Pasco for five years.
CJ is a Lutz resident, living off Newberger Road with his wife, Natalie, and their two young children. Natalie also works in the business, in Human Resources. CJ’s sister, Brandie Ballard, heads up sales and marketing for the company, and his mother, Jo, handles Accounts Payable for their franchises.
“Business is very personal to us – we are local owners who live here,” said CJ. “This is not an out-of-town franchise — we are vested in our business and in a position to grow as Pasco continues to grow.”
The Whites invested $2.2 million in their new Lutz building, which opened in May 2018. The building has six bays that can house up to 18 service vehicles, a customer service area for reps, a large training room and several offices.
Currently, the Lutz operation employs 13 technicians, three customer service reps and CJ. All employees live in the area, and many are involved in local chambers of commerce and civic organizations.
“Our building is designed for future growth, and is a reflection of the commitment we have to Pasco County and the future,” said CJ. “We are building our business for another 41 years of operation.”
Forty-one years is a significant number for CJ, because it was 41 years ago, back in 1978, that his father and grandfather, Chester, opened their first Stanley Steamer franchise in Lake County. The Whites came from Columbus, Ohio, which is where Stanley Steemer was founded in 1947. When Chester retired in 1978, the company had just begun selling franchises, and he saw it as an opportunity to start a business with his son.
After a successful first year, the Whites bought a second franchise in Citrus County, and have continued to add locations almost every year since. Today, the family has franchises in 66 counties in Florida, Georgia and Alabama.
Lutz is one of the company’s eight regional offices, with others in Inverness, Leesburg, Ocala, Gainesville, Tallahassee and Panama City, as well as in Dothan, Alabama. The Whites plan to take the design of their new Lutz office and replicate it in in their other regional locations.
When Chet and CJ decided to expand into Tampa Bay, they looked first to a longtime Pasco franchise in New Port Richey, another family owned Steemer franchise that had been in Pasco for 35 years, and was a second-generation operation.
“It just goes to show how important family owned franchises are for Stanley Steemer,” said Chet. “CJ and I are very proud to be carrying on the family legacy tradition in Pasco.”
The Whites have expanded Stanley Steemer’s presence in Pasco, and now services homes and businesses from Dade City and Zephyrhills in the east, to Hudson and New Port Richey in the west. Much of their business comes from the middle portion of the county, in Lutz, Land O’ Lakes and Wesley Chapel.
“If you walk on it, we can clean it,” said Chet. “We clean carpet, tile and grout, laminate, hardwood, and even luxury vinyl flooring.”
Stanley Steemer is the only carpet cleaning company that manufactures its equipment, which uses hot water and steam to extract dirt and grime from flooring. Its proprietary equipment is considered the best in the industry, and its customers get the same quality service every time, no matter where they live.
Companywide, the Whites’ franchises clean 250 houses a day, employ 135 people and maintain a fleet of 55 service vans.
All of their employees meet high standards – including background checks and extensive training before going out in the field. They wear Stanley Steemer uniforms and take great pride in their appearance.
“We are very cognizant that we are welcomed into someone’s home, and we make sure our employees meet the high standards we set for them,” said CJ’s sister, Brandie.
Stanley Steemer never uses subcontractors, and its techs always work in teams of two.
“Most homeowners feel safer with two techs in their home, plus two techs move furniture better and get the job done twice as fast,” said Brandie. “We also stand behind our work with a 10-Day Redo Policy, which fortunately we are seldom asked about, because we strive to get the job done right the first time.”
You can schedule same-day service with The Lutz Stanley Steemer, by calling 1-800-STEEMER, going to StanleySteemer.com, or locally calling (727) 372-7296.
Published June 26, 2019