Cleaners find home in Woonsocket

Cleaners find home in Woonsocket

WOONSOCKET - The owners of G&T Cleaning Service, a new commercial and residential business that specializes in mitigating damage from fires and floods, say they've found more than just a place to work in Woonsocket.

Cousins Tahjinie Gonzalez and Luis Tapia say they've found their home.

"Everything just fit," said Tapia of the transition.

The Bronx natives moved north, at first to Massachusetts, before a longtime friend suggested they check out the city.

"We came here and found the church and just fell in love with it," said Gonzalez.

That church, Cavalry Worship Center, inspired them to start a local business and is quickly helping them to build a reputation for reliable service after just one month in town.

Their first Woonsocket job was charity work, with a cleanup at the church at 120 Prospect St., and the Rev. Herson Gonzalez was impressed.

"These guys are so energetic and meticulous," said Gonzalez. "When you spend some time with them, their desire to get the job done well is infectious. You catch yourself being affected by their energy."

The pair said they've been in the cleaning business for years, but it was after Hurricane Sandy in 2012 that they really got their feet wet, so to speak.

Gonzalez said he worked on more than 30 houses in the aftermath of the storm that devastated New Jersey.

"If there's nine feet of water in a basement, I can get it out, and I know how to do it right so it doesn't clog the other drains," Gonzalez said.

The company also handles fire and smoke damage, mold eradication, carpet cleaning, upholstery, tile and grout. G&T will do routine large scale office jobs, clean construction sites or provide 24-hour emergency service, from emergency water extraction and sewage or bio-hazard cleanup, to drying ceilings and walls. They also work with move-outs, junk removal, and smoke odor removal.

"I make sure the customer is satisfied, and I'm great at my craft," said Gonzalez.

In the city, they know there's plenty of work to do.

"I'm trying to expand and network," Gonzalez said.

And the work, they say, extends to more than just making money.

"We're trying to help make a change," said Luis. "We want to help."

The cousins hope the "help" will include getting involved with local causes such as winter clothing or food drives. In the past, Tapia said, they've been able to help the community with their work, doing cleanup at places like an orphanage.

In Woonsocket, the ambitious young entrepreneurs see potential.

"There's promise," said Gonzalez. "You can tell. Woonsocket was something. The city is down and we want to be part of its regrowth."

Luis added, "You find your home in life and we have here. The people are so nice."

Those interested in learning more about the service can visit the company's website at gtcleaning.webs.com or call 401-999-8709.

While the men hope to grow the business in time, for now, they're glad to have made a solid start.

"It's just the two of us with a plan and a vision," Gonzales said.