Ottawa may be a big metropolitan capital city, but it is also a small regional town in certain respects. Business can be multi-national or family-owned. We all want to patronize the latter to reward that good old Canadian entrepreneurial spirit. There is anything from a restaurant to a locksmith shop in this category. There are boutiques and one-of-a-kind gift shops with handmade local items. You will also find bakeries, ice cream vendors, and shoe repair stores amid the multitude of ubiquitous mall chains. It is no wonder that when I spot a home-grown venture, I go with open arms.
Take the carwash around the corner. It has been family-run for a few generations and I can see gramps in the backroom looking over the books. The kids learned the ropes right there under the stream of water before entering management after college. It is open early and closes late because of so many fans with dirty cars. They wouldn’t think of going anywhere else. Pop is often credited with innovations. He keeps the machinery up to date and the cars sparkling. Only the best wax for his customers. He bought a couple of power washers a few years ago and what a difference a day makes.
Have you seen these dynamos in action? They can make mincemeat out of the worst caked-on dirt. If your van has been in the wilds during the rain, no problem. Bring it over. They might have to do some extra scrubbing with the brush attachments on the wheels and rims, but in the end, it will be clean and like new. Nothing is a challenge—not the chrome detailing, the spotty windows, or the filthy engine. It all comes at a very reasonable price! The family has been known to donate their services for charitable fundraising events. Actions speak louder than words.
If you enter the car wash and walk down the aisle as you witness the miraculous vehicle transformations, you will notice some framed plaques mounted on the wall side by side. There are also family photos from different decades scattered here and there. The gang is very proud of the business and what it took to get it started many years ago, and keep it successful. A lot of hard labor went in at first before automation took over. The power washer is a nice finishing touch, however, that still demonstrates the benefit of a little extra manual effort. Kids love to watch the spewing spray from the adjustable nozzle. Mine want one at home and are dropping intense hints. A new electric or gas power washer will do doubt appear in due time.
Meanwhile, we want to visit this illustrious award-winning venue and applaud the resistance to incorporation into an impersonal entity. I hear that they have had offers, but have not relented as yet. The residents are pretty happy about this, and if we have anything to say about it, a fight to keep things local will go on.