Our Story

Beyond office cleaning, Blue Ribbon offers comprehensive commercial janitorial services: Pressure washing, window cleaning, event set-up services, floor care services, water extraction and more. Additionally, with the branches of Discount Janitorial and Paper Supply, and Blue Ribbon’s Coffee division, customers can enjoy convenient shopping for most of their basic needs.

For nearly three decades, Blue Ribbon Cleaning Company, Inc. has been the premier source of commercial janitorial services in Marion County. Beginning as a small venture, Bernardine and Jay Thomas steadily grew the company to the 65 employee multi-faceted operation it is today: Blue Ribbon Cleaning, Discount Janitorial & Paper Supply, and Blue Ribbon Coffee & Tea. Blue Ribbon has maintained excellence by adhering to the basic principles that have brought its success: quality, delivered consistently.

Jay Thomas is still active in the company, serving as vice-president. Having the most extensive experience, his contribution has been vital to the healthy growth of the company. He not only handles special events and projects, but also trains floor crews, and is the go-to person when customers need questions answered about specialized cleaning products. He sets a high bar with his tireless work ethic, and leads by example with his integrity and customer service.

The person responsible for the smooth operation of the company is Terry Thomas. As General Manager of Sales and Operations, Terry oversees all three divisions of the Blue Ribbon family of companies. “My job description can be summed up in one sentence: I do whatever needs to be done” he says with a smile. While some wonder at how the three companies of Blue Ribbon came to be under one umbrella, to Terry, each branch complements the others. “The customers that need their facility cleaned also need paper goods and cleaning products. Similarly, the offices we clean often use a coffee service, which is why we decided to add that to our product line. We’ve received enthusiastic response.”

That newest division is Blue Ribbon Coffee & Tea. With a variety of products, Blue Ribbon Coffee & Tea can meet the needs of any office.  People know Blue Ribbon. They know we have been here a long time, and that we take pride in our ties to the area. Senior account manager David Huffman echoes those sentiments. Another long-time resident of the area, he likes the deep roots that anchor Blue Ribbon to Marion County.  “It’s great to be able to offer potential customers quality products and services, and also give them the security that comes from doing business with a company that’s been here for nearly 30 years.”

As President of the company, Terry’s wife Esperanza Casteneda brings her twenty-five years of small business ownership to the mix. With service, retail, and human relations experience, she finds herself wearing several hats. She makes sure safety and training stay up to date and oversees employee management. As part of the continuing effort to maintain quality and efficiency, this year they implemented a computer-based quality assurance program. Additionally, they use the highest industry criteria so that Blue Ribbon meets or exceeds those standards. “When we bought the company, we knew that we wanted to expand our customer base, while maintaining the fine reputation that Jay, my father-in-law, had worked so hard to establish. Our entire management team has done an amazing job balancing all of that.”

Terry enthusiastically shares that view. “We have great people working with us”, he explains, “Our challenge moving forward is managing growth while simultaneously maintaining the family environment that we all value. Roughly half of our employees, both office and custodial, have been with Blue Ribbon for 10 years or longer.   Our clients know them, and more importantly, they know our clients. They help us maintain the type of individualized customer service that sets us apart. ”

But even beyond the outstanding service and quality products, Terry feels there is another important component to their success. “We are truly a locally owned family business, and our customers know that. We invest in the community, financially and emotionally. In turn, the community has invested in us.”