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My name is Jim Poppenhouse and along with my wife Andrea, we own and operate Scrubbing Bubbles Exterior Cleaning Systems.   We service over 1500 customers in Tampa, Clearwater, Palm Harbor, Oldsmar and Odessa with the majority of our customers having been with us for over 10 years.   Our goal is to be your one and only source for cleaning the exterior of your home and we have been committed to superior quality and workmanship since 1999. Andrea is the office manager and can be reached at 813-448-9349 for estimates and the scheduling any work you want.

In the years that I have operated this business, I have met some really good guys.  And even though they are successful, I wouldn't hire them to work for me because of the quality of their work.  At the same time, I have hired and met enough questionable individuals that I have now chosen to operate my business alone.  I have come to understand why they can't keep a job.  One had been fired from 44 jobs in 18 months.  I don't even know how that is possible.  But many are simply not able to work with others and have issues with authority.  I've met some that had psychological issues and some were on probation and one that was just released from prison for rape.  I had one steal from me and others tell my customers that I am no longer in business in an effort to take customers from me.  I've been threatened by one competitor and another falsified a bad testimonial against me.  Because of this, I have chosen to provide the following information so that you will have some insight as to who I am and the type of person you will be hiring:

I graduated from high school in Hawaii at the top of my class in 1979.  From my freshman year throughout high school I won outstanding, first and second place Industrial Arts awards in Electronics, Mechanical Drawing and Woodworking every year until I graduated.  I tested and scored high enough to enter the Air Force's OCS (Officer Candidate School), but failed the physical due to a sports injury.  At 16 years of age, I became the youngest graphic artist ever hired by one of Hawaii's largest men's clothing store and continued working as an artist until I moved to Louisiana.  I did murals for businesses and created logos and designs for schools, colleges, car collectors and businesses specializing in hand-cut color separation films until I became bored working behind a desk.  In 1981, a friend helped me land a job operating heavy equipment for a timber company.  I quickly became the top producer on the crew, but in '84, a tree snapped in half, fell on me and broke my neck in two places and my back in four places.  I was out of commission for a year and had to have two titanium 18" rods mounted along my spine.  They are still there today. 

So I went back to working as a graphic artist, became bored again and was hired as an auditor for Holiday Inn while still in Louisiana.  In 1986, I moved to Florida because I missed the weather and beaches of Hawaii.  After a year here as an auditor, I again became bored and left to work at Bic Pen Corporation as a machine operator and eventually as a color tech where I formulated specific colors for hundreds of businesses.  I received "Employee of the Year" several years in a row for finding ways to save the company thousands of dollars every year.  In one year, I saved them over $50,000 in ink alone just by explaining to their engineers how they needed to use a smaller screen to reduce ink waste.  But I did not get credit for it, instead I received another "Employee of the Year" award.  I wanted to move up so that I could help them even more, but that was not the way they worked.  They said I needed a degree. So, while I was there, I went to school full time while working full time at Bic for two years and graduated Magna Cum Laude with an Associate's degree in computer repair and engineering in 1998.  But a change in management derailed my aspirations to become an electronic technician there and was told that I would have to quit, get a job out of state to get the 3 years experience they wanted before they would hire me as a tech or engineer, so I left there out of anger and frustration in 2000. I wish they had told me this while I was going to school because while at school I was pulled out of class several times and offered jobs at Intel, Chrysler and Motorola.

But while I was at Bic, I met a guy that was doing pressure washing as a side business.  His health was not good so I volunteered to help him out and realized that I really missed and enjoyed physical work.  So, I bought the equipment.  My 12 foot trailer had dual pressure washing machines, one that put out 5,000 psi and one with 3500 psi.  I had dual hot water tanks that would heat water up to 230 degrees, two surface cleaners, 600 feet of hose and a 200 gallon tank. I thought I was ready for anything.  But soon I realized that what I had learned from him wasn't enough to make customers happy.  He didn't believe in using any cleaning agents and when I saw customers that weren't happy, I thought there had to be a better way.  So, I tried every housewash and cleaning agent I could find in Lowe's, Home Depot and Ace Hardware, but none of them produced satisfactory results in my opinion.  I then tried industrial and contractor grade cleaners from both national and local manufacturers but still did not like what I saw.  What's worse, these cleaning agents often left a "chemical" smell similar to ammonia and I still had to use high pressure to get mediocre results.  So, I started searching online and calling companies. 

Finally, after being on the phone all day, I was on my last call and I was tired of hearing the "best thing since sliced bread" pitch.  Perhaps it was angst or sarcasm, but I finally asked the sales guy, "exactly what made him think that his housewash was so much better than all the other ones that I've tried?"  To my surprise, he paused and said that he actually owned a pressure cleaning business himself and that he had worked with the manufacturer to refine and formulate this particular housewash to work better than anything he had ever used.  At this point, I had already tried housewashes that couldn't even touch the mold and mildew we have down here in Florida.  So, I asked him where was he operating his pressure washing  business and he asked me if I knew where Tampa, Florida was.  I was stunned.  I had called an "800" number and never thought he would be so close.  I asked him where he lived, hung up the phone and drove straight over to his house.  We talked for hours and I learned that he had been doing this for almost 20 years.  He was also voted the number one cleaning contractor in Westchase by the residents there 5 years in a row.  I was impressed and told him that I would work for him for free for as long as it took if he would just teach me what he knew.

After taking over some of his commercial accounts and doing some experimenting, I realized that I didn't need a 5,000 psi machine or even hot water to out clean everyone else. In fact, some of the managers of those commercial accounts were so impressed with my cleaning that they even came out on a Sunday just to thank me and to see what I was doing that was different.  That's when I knew I had it figured out.  I've always tried to be better than my mentors and I'd like to think I've accomplished that here.

After 3 months, I felt I was ready to try it on my own.  He asked if I would be interested in becoming partners, but I really wanted to see what it would be like to be on my own.  We still worked together on big jobs for a couple of years after that, but he is retired now.  I have to say that I do miss his wacky personality and his expertise though and sometimes wish I had taken him up on his offer.  Now, I feel like the Lone Ranger - the last of my kind.  My customers tell me that no one cleans the way I do.  We get calls from customers all the time that say that they've never called any other company before just to say what a superb and exemplary job we did.  I only wish I could find someone to whom I can pass on what I know, because I do feel bad for my customers when I think about getting out of this business.   

There have been times when I've had to give customers to other contractors because I was just too booked up and couldn't get to them for months but they always come back for their next cleaning.   

I apologize for boring you to death with this long, drawn out story, but now you know all about me.  Hopefully, this will help you understand who you are hiring and that I am driven to always do my best.  And finally, I have to give full credit to my parents for raising me the way they did because they are the ones that are wholly responsible for instilling in me the honesty and ethics by which I do business and above all, the desire to be the best at whatever I choose to do. 

At this point in time, I have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau even though I am not a member and this year, in order to receive my "Super Service Award", I had to pass a background check.  The main reason I tell you all of this is so that you feel absolutely comfortable hiring us.  But, if you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact us at 813-448-9349 and we will get back to you as fast as humanly possible.  Thank you for visiting our site and we hope to hear from you soon.

Jim and Andrea

 

 

 

Phone
813-298-2059