Molly Maid Celebrates 25 Years with New Office

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The procedure for cleaning a room hasn’t changed much for Linda Hixson since she started working for Molly Maid 21 years ago.

“You start at a corner and work your way to square the room off,” said Hixson, field representative. “You go top to bottom, left to right and you shouldn’t miss anything.”

This consistency is why Kerri Stewart has called Molly Maid back monthly to clean her business and home for the last nine years. Stewart owns Bea’s Insurance Agency in East Palestine.

“I know it’s taken care of so I don’t have to worry about it,” Stewart said. “It just frees me up to do the things that I need to do.”

On Friday, Molly Maid in Liberty celebrated 25 years of serving Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana and Mercer counties and held a ribbon-cutting for its new office at 3622 Belmont Ave. Molly Maid employees, customers and government officials attended the event.

“Anytime you have a business that stays intact for that period of time is great,” said Frank Fuda, Trumbull County commissioner. “It means they’re doing a good job and people appreciate it, and it’s jobs for the county.”

Molly Maid is a national franchise that provides cleaning services to businesses and homes.

Katie Burkey, owner of the local Molly Maid, said the franchise was opened in the area by her stepmom in 1993. Burkey joined the team in 2002 and became owner in 2005.

“I love meeting and greeting with people and I definitely appreciate helping people,” she said. “This is one of those opportunities to do both of those.”

Burkey moved her business from the corner of Churchill Hubbard Road and Belmont Avenue down the street to its new office to accommodate business growth. The old office was 1,200 square feet and the new office is 2,400 square feet, Burkey said.

“We were completely maxed out for space,” she said. “We were at our previous location for 10 years and as we continued to grow we wanted to make sure we had enough space for my team to grow, as well as car space as we have 15 vehicles.”

The business is currently on track to hit $1 million in sales this year and is looking to expand its team of 27 to accommodate the increase in business.

“We’re always looking to hire,” Burkey said. “Right now we’re at a deficit of staff and have more cleaning to do than employees.”

New employees hired by Molly Maid go through six days of training with Hixson, who takes them into a house and shows them how she cleans each room before allowing them to try to clean on their own while she oversees. She also teaches safety protocols, such as not using a step stool in a shower or using a wet rag on a hot light.

“I try to watch what they’re doing to make sure employees don’t have accidents,” Hixson said.

Once trained, employees are paired in teams of two to clean a home or business. Currently there are 10 teams of cleaners at Molly Maid who can clean up to six houses a day, which is double the amount of teams who were there when Hixson was hired 21 years ago.

As part of an ongoing process to make sure the teams are cleaning properly, Hixson does a surprise check on each once a week after they’re done cleaning at a home or business.

The cleaning products haven’t changed much, Hixson said. “Murphy Oil Soap is one of our biggest, oldest chemicals we could use and it’s good for almost everything,” she said. “That leaves a fresh smell and sometimes it’s that fresh smell that will get the customer’s mindset right.”

Other products that Molly Maid uses are Dawn Dish Soap, Milsek Furniture Polish, Xcelenté, Clean by Peroxy and Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. Customers can also ask Molly Maid to use their own products they provide for their home.

The cost to hire Molly Maid to clean starts at $85 per hour and drops down to $77 on a maintenance basis.

Burkey said she has a wide range of customers with some being full-time working millennials who are never home when Molly Maid is there to clean, and others who are retired and prefer to be home while Molly Maid is there. “We have about 40% of customers who are never home when we’re there, but we also have a great majority of senior citizens who are there all the time,” she said.

Since 1996 the local franchise has participated in the national Ms. Molly Foundation for domestic violence awareness.

Currently the business is in the process of collecting donations of items from local businesses and customers to be used in a basket raffle, which usually contains between 50 to 60 baskets, said Catherine Anderson, office manager for Molly Maid.

Among the items donated are gift cards to local restaurants, tickets to nearby zoos and animal parks, tickets to Pittsburgh Pirates’ games and autographed items from the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Molly Maid will sell tickets for the baskets to be raffled off at its Ms. Molly Bowl-A-Thon Nov. 4 at Boardman Lanes.

The money raised from the basket raffles and Bowl-A-Thon will be donated to Soujourner House Domestic Violence Shelter in Youngstown and Someplace Safe in Warren.

Last year, Molly Maid raised almost $7,000 total and split that amount between the two shelters. This year the business’ goal is to raise $10,000.

“Every year we keep trying to do more and more to expand that total,” Burkey said. “We give back to our community and it’s really our community who helps us put this event on.”

Pictured: Katie and Bill Burkey, president and vice president of Molly Maid in Liberty; and Catherine Anderson, office manager.

Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.