A father and son endeavor
By Kathy Fallert; photos courtesy of Derek Blaha
Father and son Joe and Derek Blaha have been involved in various aspects of the laundry and dry cleaning industry for more than 30 years in Colorado. Joe is still employed by the original company that built and managed Castle Pines GreenEarth Cleaning, which is based out of Kansas.
Derek reflected, “The GreenEarth company approached my father about four years ago with the offer to buy the business. We were able to make a deal and took over the business in September 2017. We maintained the same staff and still have the same manager working for us today. I saw this as a wonderful opportunity to work with my father again and try to build something together that we are both proud of.”
This is the first dry cleaning business the Blahas have owned, but Joe had a company that sold dry cleaning equipment and built dry cleaning plants in the past. Derek worked for his father while attending college at Metro State in Denver.
“I saw this as a wonderful opportunity to work with my father again and try to build something together that we are both proud of.”
“After that, I worked for another company that built dry cleaning plants and installed equipment around the Midwest and Northwest United States for about 20 years,” said Derek. “I also worked as a sales distributor for two of the United States largest distributors of dry cleaning solvents, filters and spotters used in the dry cleaning industry.”
Born in Delaware, Derek moved to Colorado at the age of one. The Blahas lived in Eagle for about five years but have been back in Denver for the past 40 years which is where they still reside. Joe is originally from New Jersey.
Derek works at GreenEarth every day during the week and some Saturdays which is when he tries to do maintenance. In his spare time, Derek enjoys fishing, hiking, camping or anything outdoors as well as playing music. Derek has played guitar for many years in various basement and garage bands, but as Derek remarked, “Currently I have been too busy to pursue my hobbies.”
Derek and his fiancée, Lori, do not have any children, but they do enjoy their beloved deaf white boxer named Kiki, who they adopted a few years ago. Kiki is the couple’s second deaf white boxer, and followed their boy, Walter.