Winans Sanitary Supply closes
PARKERSBURG — After 60 years in business, Winans Sanitary Supply Inc. ended its run on June 19.
The business, separate from Winans Services, was the original business started by Jim Winans Jr. in September 1959 which eventually grew to include the Winans family businesses of Winans Services, Extras Support Staffing, Winans Sanitary Supply, Winans Restoration Services and Winans Security Services. At one point they had locations in Charleston, Huntington and Zanesville in addition to Parkersburg.
President Sam Winans said they decided to “wind down” the supply business because they didn’t have anyone in the family who could take it over.
“We didn’t have a third generation coming in,” he said.
Winans said their businesses have always been a “family business” with their associates being part of their family.
At one point they were the 67th largest company in the state with over 700 employees. However, times change and business changes.
As Winans and his brothers Jim, Dave and Joe were wondering what they were going to do with their businesses, they sold off parts of the company with Winans Services, Extras, Restoration and Security being bought by Scioto Services, part of the Marsden Company, a couple of years ago in April 2017.
“That business is still going strong with the same kind of passion we had for 60 years,” Winans said.
With the supply business, they decided to bring it to a close. June 19 was the official last day for the business. The business sold janitorial supplies, restroom supplies, floor machines and more.
“If it involved industrial cleaning, we sold it,” Winans said.
The business was built locally with Winans’ father becoming known throughout the community.
The elder Winans was known for a letter board and snappy sayings he would put on it when the business was located at 13th and Avery streets.
“It got to the point where people would regularly drive by just to see what Dad put out there,” Sam Winans said with a laugh.
The sayings would be funny or could have a semi-political angle to them.
Their businesses has also encompassed Port-A-Johns, carpet laying, carpet cleaning and more.
“Dad was not afraid of anything,” Winans said. “He was not afraid of success or failure.”
Their success was always due to the people they had working for them.
“We would have been nothing over the last 60 years without our people,” Winans said.
They will be auctioning off equipment and selling other parts of the business on Aug. 3.
“We have had a wonderful run,” Winans said. “The Mid-Ohio Valley has been great.
“It is bittersweet for us. It was a wonderful ride.”
The remaining business had a few employees left with everyone finding other work.
“Everyone was taken care of,” Winans said.
Some of the Winans brothers have already retired. Sam Winans said he still serves on some local boards and will continue on until he is told his services are no longer needed.
Afterward, he and his wife plan to head south to be closer to their grandchildren and family.
However no matter where they go, Winans said they will always remain West Virginians.
With that, Winans said they are encouraging many of their customers and friends to continue to do business with small local businesses as there are a number locally who sell the supplies they have.
“We are encouraging them to keep business local,” he said. “Small family businesses are the backbone of America.”
Brett Dunlap can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org