(From Left-to-Right): Green Forest Car Wash creators and owners,Thomas Ennis, Patricia Knott and customer service operator, Earl Hollinshed. Despite colleagues' concerns about the surrounding area, Ennis saw South Los Angeles as a positive and worthwhile opportunity for Green Forest Car Wash.
Los Angeles-based company investing in Southern California neighborhoods
Going on the theory "you can build a better mouse trap," a pair of Los Angeles business leaders is revolutionizing the drive-through car wash and investing in local communities all at the same time. The brainchild of Thomas Ennis and Patricia Knott, Green Forest Car Wash' second theme car wash and the first-ever dinosaur car wash, is now open in south central Los Angeles at 951 W Florence. A second dinosaur car wash will open June 27 in Bell Garden at 6357 S Eastern Avenue. The company expects to invest $10 million this year in these new ventures.
"Here in the Entertainment Capital of the World," we're making going to the car wash fun for car crazy Angelenos," said Thomas Ennis, founder, NS Wash Systems. Ennis has more than 50 years’ experience in all facets of the car wash industry. His company's first theme and signature car wash, Green Forest Car Wash, opened in Hawthorne five years ago. His partner and co-founder is local real estate developer, Patricia Knott.
According to Ennis, his company has the edge in the competitive car wash industry because he's been on the equipment side of the business for more than 50 years.
“I spent years inventing and selling the washing brushes, polishers, water delivery systems and dryers to car wash owners. We have a better understanding of what works, what doesn’t work and why. That’s why our concept, the Green Forest Car Wash, has been successful in its first location and we are excited to be part of the revitalization of the former Jomar Car Wash and invest in this enterprising community.”
Owned by longtime residents Mr. and Mrs. Windell Whitemore, who converted the wash to a used car lot almost 20 years ago, the couple is happy to watch the transformation of their car wash and the community.
“Community investment is important to creating new businesses, encouraging expansion, and bringing new jobs,” said Maxine Waters. “We applaud the Green Forest Car Wash for their support of this community and their effort to create jobs and opportunities for our residents.”
Their car wash concept, The Green Forest Car Wash, makes the mundane task of washing the car fun and affordable. Building on their success in the South Bay, the car wash developers have moved on to Florence and future locations in Bell Garden and Baldwin Hills.
The Florence car wash is larger than the first location in Hawthorne and features animatronic dinosaurs, and a wall mural whose tiles were painted by the Whitemores, and the first customers of the car wash, many of whom aren’t licensed to drive yet.
The Hawthorne Green Forest Car Wash won the South Bay Environmental Award twice. Since its opening, the car wash has been recognized for conservation of natural resources in an industry that works hard to be a leader in environmental issues, including water use, power consumption and air quality.
"We strive to live up to our name, Green Forest, not only by teaching customers a thing or two about the Rain Forest and the role it plays in the world's eco-system, but in using state-of-the-art reclamation systems that recycle water," said Patricia Knott, co-founder of Green Forest Car Wash. "The new Florence location, longer and wider than our first car wash, allows us to utilize even more power and water saving features, which makes it even more environmentally friendly.
The Green Forest Car Washes wash cars, and create an entertaining and educational drive-thru experience with teachings about ecology and the environment. Green Forest Car Wash plans several more of their concept car washes throughout the next five years. They are planning a national chain of Green Forest Car Washes.
All photos by Brian W. Carter
For more information, visit www.greenforestcarwash.com.