Attention to detail helps new business, new owners in success Greg Robinson started his business under a tree in their front yard with the help of his wife Melinda. MD Professional Cleaners is now located at 5 East Cherry. by M. Jill Sundstrom A strong faith and meticulous standards go hand in hand for Greg and Melinda Robinson as they strive for success with their business, MD Professional Cleaners in Vermillion.
Based at 5 East Cherry since July 1, the business does more than simply wash cars, trucks, vans and boats. Additional services include hand waxing, chrome polishing, carpet and upholstery shampooing, tar removal, leather cleaning, carpet replacement, pin striping and wheel well painting.
�Many people don�t know that we also have a residential and commercial janitorial service,� Greg said. �Polaris is one of our accounts, along with Prairie Inn and several other businesses around town, plus Century 21�s rental properties. We also do carpet cleaning and hard floor stripping and waxing and clean up after water and smoke damage.�
Greg has been in business since he started doing car detailing under a tree in his front yard in 1995.
�I was working at Hy-Vee and doing this on the side,� he said. �After a while the business started growing so fast that Melinda was helping me and we were working 12 to 14 hour days. That�s when I decided to leave Hy-Vee.�
And the business has continued to grow.
Greg and Melinda purchased the property at the corner of Cherry and Cottage earlier this year and built a new 40' x 36' addition, because after working in his front yard and later in his garage, Greg was ready for more visibility and expansion.
Greg was born in Nassau, the capital of the Bahama Islands. He was attending school at Pasadena City Community College in California when he was offered a scholarship at The University of South Dakota.
Majoring in therapeutic recreation, Greg also played football while at USD.
�When I had about a year and a half left, the business was going so well I had to decide whether to continue school or go into the business more,� he said. �We prayed about it and when it was all over, our blessing came in the question ?why don�t you detail?� �
But it hasn�t been easy.
�I didn�t have any business experience, so I�ve learned by hard knocks,� Greg said. �But I�ve been blessed with great people in town who have worked with me, offering advice. Our church, which is a very big part of our lives, has also been very supportive.�
Greg calls Hy-Vee manager Cliff Deverell his mentor, while Gary Rasmussen, Dick Sunde, Don Clyde, Rollie French and Linda Kogel �have all gone to bat for me,� he said. �The whole business community has really helped us along and CorTrust Bank had enough faith in us to stand in our corner when no one else would touch us.
�God has truly blessed us with the way the business has grown,� he continued. �That�s the inspiration for our name. MD stands for ?Miracle Detailing,� the original name for our business.�
Melinda, who gave birth to the couple�s first child, Ezekial, on Nov. 16, works at Gateway. She also helps with office work and some cleaning at night. Other MD employees include Sandra Coakley, Greg�s aunt, and Leslie Sawyers, Melinda�s uncle.
Laura and Heath Larson have entered the business world as the new owners of Hawaiian Sun Tanning Salon and Laundry World. They took over in July.
�I had worked there when I was in college,� Laura said. �I really liked it and when we found out it was for sale, we decided to go ahead with buying it.�
The unique combination of a tanning salon, coupled with a self-service laundry, was started by Chad Anderson. The Larsons bought Hawaiian Sun Tanning Salon and Laundry World from Jacques VanRooyen.
Heath continues to work for Conkling Distributing as a bookkeeper in Yankton, while Laura manages their Vermillion business.
�It�s perfect for me,� she said. �I have a lot of freedom with my schedule and I can take our son, Kade, who just turned five months old, with me to work.�
In addition to self-service laundry, Laundry World will wash clothes for customers and has contracted with businesses to do commercial laundry, Laura added.
�People can also drop off their dry cleaning here, too,� she said.
Hawaiian Sun Tanning Salon and Laundry World employ about 15 people.
Like Laura Larson, Glynis Erickson worked for the business she now owns with her brother Hazen Bye. The siblings bought Coldwell Banker C Dakota Realty July 1 from Linda Andersen.
Bye is a familiar face in Vermillion ? he was the wrestling coach at Vermillion High School and has an auction service. But he moved to Arizona for a time to sell real estate. Erickson, meanwhile, had established a career for herself at Coldwell Banker C Dakota Realty. She has worked there for eight years.
�After I moved back home, she and I talked about opening our own real estate business,� Bye said. �Then we found out that Linda wanted to sell and we decided that was a better option since the business was so well established.�
Andersen continues at Coldwell Banker C Dakota Realty as assistant broker.
�It has worked out really well with Linda staying on,� Bye said. �The transition has gone very smoothly.�
The brother and sister work well together as a team, they said. Erickson is the responsible broker, while Bye is the office manager and handles real estate sales. Eleven other people are employed at Coldwell Banker C Dakota Realty.
Real estate can be a challenging business, but the agency works hard with their clients.
�They come to us because they�re interested in buying our selling,� Bye said. �It�s our job to help them get what they want. We�re there to serve their needs, as well as giving them service after the sale. That�s a major plus that we offer.�
In addition to real estate sales, Coldwell Banker C Dakota Realty manages residential rental property. Bye continues his auction service as well.
�I feel good about buying this business,� Bye said. �It can be overwhelming at times, but we both know we have to work hard to make it go.�
�This was a good move for us,� she said. �Linda gave us a great opportunity and she�s still here to help us along. She is to be credited for building up the business and our staff is great.�
Erickson�s husband Mark farms. They live in rural Gayville with their three children. Bye and his wife Lisa also have three children and live in Vermillion.