Dave Duma’s business story is one that is hard for him to believe at times. About 20 years ago, as a teenager, he felt so much pride and satisfaction after getting his dirty car washed at his local hometown Mogadore car wash that he went up to Jim, the owner one day and asked, “Could I buy your car wash?” With a chuckle, Jim who built that car wash block by block said, “Of course… come back one day when I’m ready to retire.” Eighteen years later Dave pulled in when he saw Jim’s shiny red truck outside, found him and asked, “Excuse me, Jim, do you remember me?” He smiled and said, “I’m ready.”
Dave and his wife, Jillian are locals through and through. They grew up in the area, met when they worked together in college, later got married and are totally committed to raising their four very active children in the local community. So naturally, the name “Hometown Car Wash” with a tagline of “Best Buds and Suds” as a nod to their kids, made perfect sense.
They took time to learn the business and make some upgrades to the Mogadore location the first year of ownership. Dave and Jillian enjoyed owning and operating one local wash so much they started looking around in the community for other opportunities. They had to be clean and convenient, and offer a great wash. Several times a week, they drove by and used Quick Clean Car & Pet Wash down the road from their church, Maranatha Bible. According to Dave, Jillian rarely missed a “$2 off Tuesday.” After meeting the owner and learning more about all of the services Quick Clean offers, they quickly realized it was the perfect fit for their family. And so goes the story with the addition of two more car washes, one in Uniontown by Beiler’s and one behind Bob’s Pizza in Greentown, where they shop and eat.
“Jillian and I have enjoyed the challenges and rewards of combining the four car washes under the umbrella of Hometown Car Wash in the community that we and others know, love and use,” adds Dave. It isn’t always easy for this busy, young family. Dave admits there are personal challenges to run this type of 24/7 business. “Sometimes life happens and a wash goes down, always at the worst time. I couldn’t do it without Rick and Phil who are constantly working to maintain the washes at peak performance. We do our best to be there for the customers who need us.”
For most small business owners, there are challenges and advantages. Jillian seems to roll with the flow graciously. “Some things are not convenient and not in the plan for the day or the moment, but Dave makes it easy on me… he is organized and doesn’t put anything off.” They seem to know the importance of good customer service and the value of the investments we make in our vehicles and fur babies. Dave and Jillian love to show the little “buds” what it takes to be successful in business. The kids often ask to go to work with Dave to “help.” He says having them close gives them the opportunity to “set a good example, instill an old-fashioned hard work ethic and to teach them how to politely interact with others.”
“I’m definitely a risk-taker,” Dave adds. Jillian agrees their life together is an adventure, full of spontaneity and joy. They pray about all big decisions together, and give credit to God for their successes. They also have a lot of fun along the way and hope to provide the same good feeling of pride and happiness they get when they go through one of the washes they now own. “Life is too short to not invest in the people around us. We wouldn’t be able to do it without support from our family, friends and community. ‘Gratitude’ is not a big enough word for all who have helped us get to where we are today.”