Carlos and Vanessa Toro launch successful janitorial cleaning business in wake of job loss and homelessness
Carlos and Vanessa Toro didn’t think that the Great Recession of 2008 would affect them but it did. And it took Office Pride, the faith-based janitorial cleaning franchise, to turn their lives around.
Carlos, a 21-year retired veteran and marine logistician had relocated to Mississippi but a job loss and a house foreclosure in quick succession compelled the couple to move back to Virginia in 2009. For a while the Toros banked on the kindness of friends and family and even picked up odd jobs to tide them over.
The Toros got their first taste of Office Pride’s faith-based operating principles when Carlos worked with Todd Jones, the area developer for the Office Pride franchise system in Virginia and owner of Office Pride of Virginia Beach. Eventually the demands of working multiple jobs lead Carlos to quit, but Jones invited the couple to come on board as franchisees.
The Toros’ values aligned with the founding principles of the janitorial cleaning franchise. “We try to do things to honor God and we try to partner with people who want to do things the right way with honesty and integrity,” Jones says. The Toros were just such people.
In a feature story for Daily Press, the couple shared that they were at first worried about the upfront investment that might be needed to become franchise owners. But Office Pride’s veteran-friendly policies allowed the Toros to get started. Carlos and Vanessa Toro set up a Peninsula Office Pride cleaning franchise with an office in York. They slowly built up the janitorial cleaning business to the point where it now employs 10-12 with nearly 30 business accounts.
In addition to a robust program for veterans, Office Pride’s core beliefs of honesty, integrity and hard work extend to their marketing efforts as well. All franchisees have access to public relations and are regularly featured in the media as expert sources or to tell their stories as the Toros did. Such coverage in turn increases visibility and possibly revenues.
As for the Toros, they are delighted with the chance at reinvention. “To us, it’s God,” Vanessa Toro says. In their 60s, the couple has bought a home in Virginia Beach and are hoping to build the janitorial cleaning business to a level where they can set it on cruise control while they enjoy their three children and eight grandchildren.