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Greenstars still sparkling at 40
A Manor Royal firm that prides itself on its environmental approach to cleaning and customer service is marking 40 years of making local offices and businesses sparkle.
Manor Court-based Greenstar Cleaners Limited have been keeping clients happy since 1976 when their founder, Nigel Hesketh, started cleaning windows in Crawley. At the time the company was called Crawley Office Cleaning Services, but changed its name in 2011 to Greenstar Cleaners Limited to reflect its environmental approach to cleaning and the fact that they clean all over South East England.
Today the company is owned and run by husband and wife team Dean Clark and Nicki Hesketh, the latter also being the daughter of founder Nigel so the company is still very much in family hands.
Asked to look back to the early days of the company, Nigel replied: "When I first started the business our transport was a £50 Ford Popular. As the company increased in size and I began to employ staff, I upgraded to a Ford Zepher. This had a rather nifty front bench seat, enabling me to take five members of staff to work. There is now a fleet of liveried vans, how times have changed!
"Our first commercial contract was with Kellogs who were based on Gatwick Road. Eventually work got a little busy and I had to employ my first member of staff, this was for D F Warehouses in Pease Pottage and I am delighted to say that we still clean for them today, which isn't bad going!
Dean joined the company in 2000 and Nicki soon after that. In recent years the company has grown consistently year-on-year with last year seeing a 10% increase in turnover.
There are now more than 100 cleaners and around 90 clients ranging from Leatherhead down to Brighton but with the vast majority in the Gatwick Diamond including Welland Medical, B&CE and FTD Johns.
"In the 16 years I have been working at Greenstar I have seen major changes in how the cleaning world has changed; from back office systems, there wasn't even a PC when I joined, to cleaning technology, and legislation," said Dean.
"Health and Safety Legislation is now very high on the agenda. We have to ensure that we comply with all the regulation, where as years ago it wasn't even thought of for cleaning. We used to clean third storey windows off of ladders with no harnesses and would bounce the ladders from window to window! Really not to be recommended."
Nicki, who used to clean offices on a Saturday morning when she was at school, added: "One of the best legislations I have seen brought in is the no smoking one. There was nothing worse than having to clean out people's desk ashtrays. Really revolting!"
Looking to the future Dean continued: "We will continue to expand the company organically. We are in the process of seeking our ISO9001 and ISO4001 accreditations for quality and environmental management which will happen in the first quarter. As the company grows this seemed like the next step that we needed to take to ensure continued efficiency.
He concluded: "We are very lucky to have great staff and customers, hopefully this will continue for the next 40 years!"