Sidney residents Ray and Missy Baker’s new venture has floored them.
The Bakers bought On the Spot Carpet Care about a year ago, even though the company is almost 20 years old.
“I got to the age where I was thinking about retiring and knew the lady who had the business for the past 16 years,” said Ray Baker, 60. “She was ready to retire and sell, so it was a good opportunity for me that suited our lifestyle.”
“We wanted to invest in a company that we knew would work for us, with a fairly flexible schedule,” reiterated Missy Baker, 50. “We knew the lady and got talking to her and it seemed like the right fit and a good time to invest. We were investing in our future.”
Despite the name, Ray said, On the Spot goes beyond carpets.
“We offer commercial and residential carpet cleaning, commercial stripping and waxing, commercial whole office office cleaning, tile, upholstery – we do a lot of furniture cleaning – and we have a contract with Rent-a-Center so we do all their furniture,” said he.” (For carpets), it’s a van mounted machine and it’s actually almost like steam: hot water comes out mixed with soap, and it sets the soap down, scrubs it, and there’s a vacuum hose that it sucks back from it. The rest of the stuff is regular vacuum cleaners, brooms and mops.”
“We have more commercial cleanings and we started cleaning RVs; that was something that I don’t think[the previous owner]had done before,” Missy said. “And because we have a lot of campers, around spring they open their units and we help get them ready.”
The Bakers said customers also control the gamut.
“We’re going all the way to Sayre, Pennsylvania and up to Ithaca and Cortland,” Ray said.
“It’s quite a group, but we mainly cover the tri-city area, Oneonta, Binghamton and Ithaca,” Missy said. “We travel for a few hours; it is typical to travel up to an hour and a half, and we picked up some bills in Roxbury. If we have accounts that are further away, we try to schedule (more), so I call people in that area and say, ‘Hey, are you ready to let me come out?’ so it is not a small carpet.”
Customers, Missy said, are embracing the change in ownership and services.
“It’s been positive,” she said. ‘We’re the only ones we know around here; there are not many carpet cleaning companies owned by mom and dad. You have your larger companies that have huge overhead and employees, and we’re just mom-and-pop, but we’re definitely keeping busy. We didn’t have to advertise much at all… because we had such a good customer base, and then we picked up more.”
The Bakers said they hope to grow with rising demand.
“The short term (goal) is to expand the market,” Ray said. “We do a lot up and down (Interstate) 88, but don’t do much towards Walton and Delhi, so I want to hit that market and the Norwich market. We will probably need to expand into professional office cleaning and hiring staff as we have what it takes to meet demand. We now have several such as Spectrum, the City of Sidney and the City of Bainbridge.”
Ray said that he and Missy “absolutely” take on clients.
And the work, Missy said, pays off.
“It’s just the fascination when you go up to someone and know that you’re going to make them happy by cleaning their dirty carpet because it looks and smells so good,” she said. “It can be hard work, and it’s physical work, lugging hoses and machines, but it’s interesting. There is never a dull moment and we meet really nice people.”
For more information or to make an appointment, call or text 607-434-6802.