Local business owner rises above adversity with HOODZ
When Carol Tippett's husband, Eddie Hedger, died in a motorcycle crash in 2014, she could have given up, but instead decided to run their HOODZ franchise on her own.
When Carol Tippetts husband, Eddie Hedger, died in a motorcycle crash in 2014, she could have given up, but instead decided to run their HOODZ franchise on her own.
First she put the business, which specializes in kitchen-exhaust and grease-hood cleaning, up for sale, but then decided that she could not abandon the dream that she and her husband once shared.
Tippett, a Clackamas resident, also realized that she liked being the go-to person for both clients and employees, so she chose to stick it out, and now expects to meet or exceed her revenue goal for 2016.
In 2008, both Tippett and Hedger lost their jobs in car sales and were forced to live off their savings. Three years later, they decided they wanted to own their own business, so they researched many options before settling on HOODZ, the industrys leading kitchen-equipment cleaning and preventive-maintenance company.
The pair spent a week in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where HOODZ is based, learning the ropes of being a franchise owner.
We were trained in different scenarios so that we understood the business. The nice thing about owning a franchise is the multitude of resources and training videos available, Tippett said.
Nationwide, [HOODZ] is known for professional, consistent quality of work; our trusted name is our brand, Tippett said.
Her Beavercreek-based franchise, HOODZ of Clackamas, employs six technicians and one administrative assistant.
Her techs provide kitchen-exhaust and grease-hood cleaning services to restaurants, ranging in size from mom and pop sites to larger locations, and also kitchen-exhaust systems in commercial buildings, like schools, Tippett said.
Because her technicians are professionally trained and certified, they are familiar with fire marshal regulations leading to fire-prevention inspections of the commercial kitchens.
Tippett said she personally answers every phone call from a potential client, and if a client has an issue, she ensures it is resolved.
HOODZ has a continuing education program, so she and her staff are always learning about new products and techniques, but she also wants to make sure her clients are educated about what the company can do for them.
We want our clients to understand why they might need new equipment to comply with National Fire Protection Association standards, Tippett said.
We explain to them why we make certain recommendations, such as a grease-containment system for their exhaust fan. Our goal is to bring their system up to NFPA codes, which helps to protect them and help us to do our job more efficiently, she said.
Tippett has added a third truck to her fleet, and is expanding into cleaning pizza-conveyer ovens.
She said she is grateful for the opportunity she and her husband had together. The business has kept her busy, so that she doesnt focus on his being gone.
Im doing something important, because the business is geared toward fire prevention. I feel good that we are preventing the possibility of a fire, where lives could be lost.
HOODZ is doing something vital in an area that is not well known, Tippet said, adding that she hopes to leave a legacy of success for her children, and eventually for her grandchildren.
Clean it up
HOODZ of Clackamas is located at 2050 Beavercreek Road, Suite 101-119, in Oregon City; call 503-908-1988.
The company provides kitchen-exhaust and grease-hood cleaning services for commercial kitchens of all sizes.
For more information about HOODZ, click here to visit the website.