Friday, January 21, 2022

By now, it’s hard to remember life before our multiple-times-daily towel/spray bottle encounters. In March 2020, we became accustomed to images of emptied store aisles that once held shelves of bottled bleach and chemical wipes. The sudden need for intense disinfection arose—and has not yet left us—as living with COVID entered our lives. Professional Disinfecting Solutions, using electrostatic disinfection (ESD), offers a safe and affordable alternative to harsh and potentially dangerous chemicals.

Business runs in the family for PDS partners—and cousins—Mitchell Kurtzer and Ari Forman. Starting off as co-owners of Network Delivery, inherited from Kurtzer’s father and Forman’s grandfather, “we are co-owners in everything, and have been blessed by having a great partnership and luck in our businesses,” said Kurtzer.

PDS is available for anyplace that needs cleaning, noted Forman. This includes gyms, office buildings, urgent-care facilities, schools and medical offices. If a family member has been infected with COVID and there is a need for a house cleaning, they cover that from couches to drapes to floors.

“What we’re trying to do,” explained Kurtzer, “is make this affordable, so that the frequency (of cleaning) is there, and environments can be COVID-free.” With savings of up to 70%, they want customers to be able to build this into their budgets so that a school, for example, can have a deep clean twice a month without monetary constraints.

As opposed to just wiping down surfaces, ESD fogging, or misting, is especially effective in that it covers more surface area. Additionally, once the ESD is sprayed, it adheres to what it is aimed at. “There is a positive charge, and it is more comprehensive than just spraying with a paper towel,” explained Kurtzer. After a deep clean, a two-hour waiting period is recommended before returning to the space.

These eco-friendly CDC, FDA and EPA approved chemicals are commercial-grade, and also used in hospitals. The Lemon-E scent adds a fresh reminder that your space has been deep-cleaned, disinfected and is safe to return to.

This particular business journey for Kurtzer and Forman traces back to 2008, when they bought the Retro Fitness franchise. Looking for a place to house the gym, they finally found and bought 28,500 square feet in a building on a property that spans 43 acres in Edison in 2010. The site was formerly a prep plant for Wrigley’s chewing gum. Kurtzer and Forman transformed their part of the complex: 9,000 square feet was designated for Network Delivery, and 19,500 square feet to the gym, the latter of which officially opened 10 years ago to the day this week.

Generating positive buzz around the gym, the complex became popular, and eventually drew the likes of vitamin, health and food companies into it. The space is now fully sold out. Kurtzer and Forman take pride in what they do. Having “autonomy over our place, we run it well, and people trust us,” said Kurtzer.

Unbeknownst to the partners, owning and closely caring for a gym planted the seed for this latest business endeavor. Within five years, Retro Fitness had grown to over 150 gyms nationwide. During three of those years, the Edison location won the No. 1 facility award for cleanliness. It won second place for the other two years. “Showing those awards helped retain our membership,” remarked Kurtzer, and it was a perfect segue into the cleaning business.

“The cleanliness aspect was something I had addressed and worked very closely to achieve,” said Kurtzer. Trusted in cleanliness, this transition naturally turned into PDS. When COVID became prevalent in March of 2020, it occurred to the partners that disinfecting would become more important moving forward. They had maintained a good relationship with Arthur, the owner of the cleaning services at Retro Fitness, and decided to turn their cleaning business into a “much longer and more aggressive campaign to make the public feel safe again.”

Arthur had been with them for eight years, and was “vetted as a top-notch cleaning system.” And so, coupled with PDS, and acting as a contractor for Arthur’s company, they now help sell his services, and he performs those services for customers. PDS serves north Jersey to south Jersey, and all boroughs of New York “As the economy opens and closes,” said Kurtzer, “those who have remained open use us regularly.”

“I think that the respect and love has added to our success. It’s always a good Shabbos when we leave on Friday, no matter what challenges we faced during the week,” said Kurtzer. Working together, Kurtzer and Forman maintain that it’s important for customers to know that “you’re making the extra effort to help them feel safe; people want to get back to some degree of normalcy.” And their solution is an important stepping stone to making that happen.

For more information, please contact Mitchell Kurtzer at [email protected] or (917) 881-3855.

By Chaya Glaser


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