Keeping it clean
Wesclean celebrates 25 years

Jorge Barerra
Northern News Services

Yellowknife ( May 17/00) - Dennis Baker smiles and hands out calendars from behind the Wesclean janitorial supplies table at the Yellowknife spring trade show. Baker, manager of the Wesclean Northern Sales Ltd. Yellowknife branch on Melville Drive, says he's proud to be part of a Northern-based business.

"All the money stays in the North and everybody who works for Wesclean is a resident of the North."

Some people who stop by Baker's trade show booth -- which was one of many at the Yellowknife Community Arena last weekend -- know him by name.

One customer even places an order for a wall mop.

"I can't get this quality of wall mop at department stores," says Peter Rybchinski.

"It's important to have a Northern business that understands Northern needs," adds Rybchinski.

Wesclean provides cleaning products to both industry and residential customers, and their product line is designed to meet the special cleaning needs of Northern industry.

"We produce specialized products for specialized tasks. No one else in NWT sells the products we sell."

Wesclean began providing products to Cominco Mines 25 years ago. The company expanded and began selling products to a wider range of customers in the North.

Back then it was owned by John Mapes, father of current president and owner Brad Mapes.

Wesclean opened its Yellowknife branch 14 years ago, and is currently looking at expanding into Nunavut.

"We make half-decent profits and we've been in business for 25 years," says Baker.