CANTON – It wasn’t so much that Aaron Dukes liked detailing cars, but he did like the end result.
For Dukes, having a clean, well-maintained vehicle was worth the work. He figured that others might feel the same.
So Dukes did his research. He determined that steam cleaning was a great process for cleaning car interiors. He also learned the service wasn’t offered in the Canton area, which allowed him to provide a different option from other car detailers. And he found it could be a mobile service.
Dukes started the business nearly five years ago while working for a local bank. After a couple months working two jobs, he left the bank to run his own business, Pristine Steam Wash.
“Entrepreneurship is one of the best things I’ve done,” Dukes said of his decision to strike out on his own.
The Timken High School graduate had worked several jobs. He started at the bank, because it involved less physical labor. It also left him stuck in and office.
“It was interesting, but it wasn’t for me,” Dukes said of the job.
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Since starting Pristine Steam Wash, Dukes has made adjustments. He found that detailing cars can be a seasonal business, with customer demand dropping during the winter. So he added steam cleaning services for furniture and carpets. He also does steam cleaning for some area restaurants.
Dukes cited a variety of reasons for choosing steam cleaning over other processes. Fewer cleaning chemicals are involved. Steam cleaning sanitizes and offers better results, he said. The steam also is better at getting into corners and crevices, as well as other tight spots.
While he has started to use a garage in Canton for some specialty cleaning, in most instances Dukes goes to the customer and works on site.
Social media and referrals have helped customers find Dukes. Repeat customers have helped him build the business.
Dukes has four employees helping with cleaning, as well as with office duties. His wife Amanda also is involved with the business, assisting in different aspects.
Dukes said he hopes to add equipment and crews, and eventually would like to franchise the business.
Local investors buy Canton property
A local investment group, Stoneham Associates, has acquired the former International Automotive Components (IAC) property in Canton.
The roughly 8-acre tract had been owned by Goodland Properties Canton, which was based in the Cincinnati area. The property consists of several lots southeast of the intersection of Sixth Street and Shroyer Avenue SW.
JIT Packaging, which makes corrugated boxes and recently was acquired by Premier Packaging, leases a building at 1212 Seventh St. SW that is part of the property.
IAC sold the property to Goodland in 2018, according to county records. The property was the location for Akro Rubber, which made a variety of automotive parts. Collins & Aikman acquired the operation during the 1990s, but became part of IAC after filing bankruptcy.
IAC began demolishing buildings at the complex several years ago, and Goodland continued the process of leveling older structures. Most of the site has been cleared.
The property is part of a community reinvestment area agreement that city officials reached with Goodland in 2018. Stoneham Associates has replaced Goodland in the agreement. Putman Properties, which has ties to Stoneham, arranged the sale.
Delta Media Group owner included on publication’s newsmaker list
RISMedia included Michael Minard, chief executive officer and owner of Delta Media Group in Jackson Township, as a 2022 Real Estate Newsmaker.
Minard gained recognition for efforts that positively affected home buyers and sellers, as well as the communities served by Delta and its real estate brokerage clients, according to RISMedia, which provides real estate news and information services.
It’s the fifth year for RISMedia newsmakers, who are nominated by the company’s readers and editors. The 300 recipients fall into eight categories. Minard was selected as an influencer. He’s recognized in the directory at RISMedia.com and in the February issue of Real Estate magazine.
Region’s new vehicle sales down
Low inventory remains a factor in reduced new vehicle sales at dealerships in Northeast Ohio, according to the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association.
Dealers said new vehicle sales fell 13% in February with 14,415 units sold compared with 16,572 sold in February 2021. So far this year, dealers have sold 31,048 new vehicles, a 16.7% drop from 37,271 sold in January and February last year.
Louis A. Vitantonio, the association’s president, said reduced computer microchip production is a key factor behind lower new vehicle inventory. Dealers don’t expect inventory to increase until later this year or early in 2023.