By Nancy Price
Mark’s Vacuum & Janitorial Supplies is one of the few Southside family-owned businesses that has not only remained opened for business throughout the pandemic but prospered tremendously as well.
While locals searched high and low for toilet paper, cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE), regular customers of the vacuum cleaner business stocked up. The past three months, the business has sold 9,000 boxes of gloves, 9,000 boxes of masks, 500 gallons of hand sanitizer and 3 million wipes.
“The (local) stores were out but we had a lot of things, especially gloves and masks and hand sanitizers and the wipes,” said Mark Cleary, president of Mark’s Vacuum & Janitorial Supplies. “We sold out a couple of times. People didn’t know we had toilet paper; we’ve been selling it for years. We tried to take care of our regular customers that have bought from us for years. Anything extra we have we let the public have it.”
The business also donated PPE to local food banks, Franklin Heritage, Inc., Franklin Parks & Recreation, Berean Baptist Church in Greenwood and the Athenaeum Foundation in downtown Indianapolis.
Besides vacuums, steamers, disinfectants, carpet cleaners, gloves and paper products, Mark’s Vacuum & Janitorial Supplies sells air cleaners, mist-it foggers, electrostatic sprayers, floor cleaning equipment, rental equipment and ozone generators. “We try to find American made when we can,” Cleary said.
Cleary started Cleary Vacuum in a small house on Madison Avenue with his father, Paul “Bud” Cleary, in 1973. In 1978, their business moved to the corner of Troy Avenue and Meridian Street and in 1990, Cleary left to start Mark’s Vacuum & Janitorial Supplies with his wife of 32 years, Marcia. The business is located at 959 Sayre Drive in Greenwood.
“It’s been a great 30 years and we look forward to serving you in the years that come,” Cleary said. “Thank you, central Indiana! We couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for your business and your friendship.”