Remembering Sonny Essenburg

Jun (Left) and Sonny (Right) Essenburg

In 1969 Julius “Sonny” and Jacob “Jun” Essenburg opened the very first Quality Car Wash location here in Holland, MI. It wasn’t much to look at, compared to where we are today. But the brothers committed to the opportunity, devoting time, energy, and creativity to the process of washing cars and making improvements as they went.

It was this commitment to quality that lead the car wash to flourish and develop into the successful family of companies growing in Michigan, around the nation, and across the world today.

It is with sadness that we report that Sonny departed to his Lord Saturday, June 1st, 2019, leaving behind a lasting professional legacy and a large, loving family to carry on his name.

For his brother Jun, Sonny’s instincts for business were what made working with him such a joy.

“We were able to often make something out of nothing. There were so many different ideas we had for what to do and where to go, and we would always run stuff by each other before we did anything. We had our disagreements, sure, but we never stopped being the best business partners.

He had an eye for a deal. Better than I did, and most people I knew. He was so good at sensing when someone was going to sell and ready to sell, or going to buy and ready to buy. It was like a God-given talent to read people so well.”

Mike Lemmen, today the Director of Franchise Operations and a long-time employee and partner with the Essenburg family, had this to share.

“The company arranged a fishing charter on Lake Michigan… Sonny showed up at the dock to see us off with a bag of the best ham sandwiches ever! It meant so much because Sonny always played the bad cop while Jun played the good cop, but Sonny taking the time to see us off at the dock, providing food for the team, showed a soft side and that he really cared about us.

[He used to say] If you have work for three people, put two on it. If you assign three, two will stand around and talk to each other and the third will get frustrated. Work won’t get done. Put two on it and they won’t have time to talk—they’ll be working hard to get it done.”

What advice would Sonny have for us today?

Tom Essenburg, “Work hard, save your money.”

Jun Essenburg, “Be frugal. Be Invested. Look for opportunities and never quit.”

Mike Lemmen, “Hard work and determination will help you achieve success, but once that success is achieved you need to work just as hard, never relax.”

Tommy Car Wash Systems

TCWS Client Thriving in Lithuania

Much like the car wash market in the United States, car washing technology and practice on the international stage is in flux, with a wide variety of systems and approaches competing. We asked the team at Švaros Broliai, the leading car wash provider in Lithuania, about their experiences with Tommy Car Wash Systems’ equipment and the difference it’s made for them.

This is what they had to say:

How long have you been in the car wash business?

Švaros Broliai has been in the car wash business for more than 21 years. We are the largest and most advanced operator of car washes in the Baltics (based in Lithuania) with 20 car washes in total: six tunnel car washes and six car detailing centers as well as eight self-service car washes.

How has car wash industry changed in Lithuania over the past 5-10 years?

The car wash industry in Lithuania was developing pretty slowly, mostly through openings of new self-service car washes, before Švaros Broliai changed the market completely in only a few years by opening our tunnel car washes. We opened our fist 5 tunnel car washes in only 12 months and took the market by storm. Last year Švaros Broliai washed more than 1.25 million cars and beat our closest competitor in Lithuania by at least a factor of three.

How has TCWS been able to help advance these changes?

All of our tunnel car washes are equipped with TCWS equipment. This clearly shows that cooperation with TCWS was instrumental to Švaros Broliai’s advancement to clear leadership in Lithuania’s car wash market.

Why should a potential customer choose TCWS products over any other brand?

TCWS are real professionals. The equipment is most likely the best in the market; we get all the support and help we need. We even get personal attention from the owners of the company! We really like that TCWS never stops innovating and looking for ways to improve the equipment and IT systems, as well as user experience. This in turn helps us to service our customers better.

How has the durability of the TCWS products held up over time?

The durability is as advertised. If you take good care of the equipment, it holds. That’s what we are focused on.

What are your customers’ favorite parts about TCWS product line?

First and foremost, our customers like that TCWS equipment does the job fast and with good quality. In the end this is what is most important. As we take good care of the equipment according to TCWS instructions. Our car washes run with almost no interruptions; that is also of high importance to our customers. Last but not least, TCWS equipment just looks much better than other comparable products.

What are the biggest benefits to your relationship with Tommy Car Wash Systems?

We really like it that we feel as partners and not only customers with TCWS. We get personal attention, everything goes according to agreements, schedules are kept, etc. TCWS are always looking for ways to do things better; this in turn helps us to service our customers better and make our business stronger.

Tommy Car Wash Systems