ICS Magazine

Family Business Scrubs Floors For American Dream

February 16, 2009

MEMPHIS – February 2, 2009 (Daily News) -- Patricia S. Haddad started out with just a scrub brush when she began her cleaning service in 2002, but now her business has specialized to the point that she uses a cleaning system specifically designed for tile and grout.

The former manager of a restaurant in Santiago, Chile, she knows just how quickly the grease buildup on a floor can become coagulated, caked and compacted. Her husband, Frank Jacob, knows all about cleaning greasy floors too. He used to be in the restaurant business as well.

They met at a conference in Orlando in 2002. He moved to Chile before they came back to the United States a year later. Jacob stayed in the restaurant business, but Haddad started cleaning houses.

Haddad’s business, PSH Cleaning Service, has grown to the point that her husband joined up fulltime. Haddad speaks English haltingly and is more comfortable having her husband translate, but she knows what the American dream means for her.

“I’m real excited about having the opportunity to open a company here, because in Chile it is next to impossible to open a company of your own and be able to operate it and have entrepreneurial freedom,” Haddad said with her husband translating.

Based in Cordova, PSH specializes in cleaning and restoring hard surfaces as well as cleaning carpets. The business, which is licensed and insured, serves both commercial and residential customers, Jacob said.

They take the cleaning equipment to homes or businesses.

“We’ve made a sizeable investment in one of the few tile and grout cleaning systems that are out there on the market,” he said. “We also offer protection service for tile and grout. We offer a sealing and finishing service to help people protect the grout after it’s been cleaned.”

On tough-to-clean floors, they first use a pre-treatment solution that loosens dirt, oils and bacteria. They then use high-pressure water to penetrate the toughest areas. The equipment can heat water to more than 200 degrees.

PSI services restaurants, car dealerships and other businesses.

“About 98 percent of our commercial work we do at night during the business down time,” Jacob said.

Currently, PSH just employs Haddad and Jacob.

“We’re definitely looking to expand,” Jacob said. “What separates us is we’re a small company with a very high-quality product. We pride ourselves on the high level of quality and experience we bring to a job.”

Jacob formerly worked for CEC Entertainment Inc., which owns the Chuck E. Cheese’s franchise.

“What separates us is we’re both former restaurant managers,” he said. “I have over 25 years in the food service industry with experience in sanitation, health concerns, things of that nature. I bring those experiences to this. I spent nine years working at Chuck E. Cheese’s. You can imaging working day in and day out dealing with kids and keeping the environment safe.”

The business has been certified by The Master’s Touch Inc. to be trained to use the cleaning equipment, which they also purchased from the company. The Master’s Touch invented and patented a hard-surface restoration system about eight years ago.