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Local Home Management Company Recognized
On a fateful evening in 1999, house cleaner Cynthia Ward and property manager Chris Capalbo were in the right place at the right time.Sitting a few tables away from one another at The Corner Bar in Sag Harbor, they were out to dinner with their respective clients. Their eyes met. And then, he smiled.
“He was attracted to me,” she laughed, girlishly flipping her brunette tresses over her left shoulder. “But we had no idea we’d work so well together. Professionally.”
Within a year, the couple was married, with twins and a newborn business: C’s Home & Office Management in Sag Harbor, which recently earned Accredited Member status for the second consecutive year from the National Home Watch Association.
For just over a decade, the business has operated two divisions: a cleaning branch, primarily handled by Ms. Ward Capalbo, and a home-watch branch, headed up by her husband. He is the first to be called if there is a problem—be it a blaring security alarm or impending natural disaster.
“Our clients are generally looking for someone to be on-call for a 24-7 emergency,” Ms. Ward Capalbo said.
“Their eyes and ears as if they were home,” her husband said. “If they’re in Hawaii or out of the country, they can have dinner without wondering, ‘Is my house okay today? Is the temperature right? Do I have the proper fuel, the proper gas?’ They can sleep a lot better.”
“They know we’re here,” his wife said. “And we’re ready whenever there’s an issue.”
Cleaning For A Cause
By Melissa Lynch
There are few businesses on the East End that haven’t felt the impact of the current economic crisis – one of them is C’s Home and Office Management, a Noyac based business which, even in this down turned market, is still as busy as ever. C’s offers many services such as house watching and cleaning, handyman projects, transportation service and estate management. The company also offers a unique service which no other company on the East End provides – free house cleaning for patients coping with cancer. Owner/ operators of C’s, husband and wife team Cindy Ward Capalbo and Chris Capalbo, say this service is offered to clients in memory of their mothers, both of whom had pancreatic cancer. Cindy said she first became interested in providing service to cancer patients when her mother was living in Florida and hired a cleaning lady to help out while she was going through chemotherapy. Cindy saw the dramatic impact the service had on the wellbeing of her mother, who constantly felt tired and had trouble completing everyday cleaning tasks while she was sick. “As a memory to my mother and mother-in-law, we decided to offer this service through Fighting Chance to help people coping with cancer,” said Cindy. In addition to working with Fighting Chance – the non-profit Sag Harbor organization that provides resources and support to cancer patients and their families – C’s is also a partner of Cleaning for a Reason, a non-profit organization that offers free cleaning services to woman undergoing cancer treatments. The organization finds cancer patients in the area looking for assistance, and C’s provides the individual with four free cleaning sessions – the next four sessions are half price. “But we can continue to do it for as long as we want, “Cindy said on Monday, “This is just a recommendation.” C’s has also been partnered with Cleaning for a Reason since September. Cleaning for a Reason only offers the service to women and Cindy said because it was important that her company be able to help all people she had also partnered with Fighting Chance in order to do that. At the moment, Cindy said she has one client who is recovering from cancer that the company has been cleaning for over a year. Cindy and Chris both work in the business that she began in 1994. C’s started as just an idea by Cindy when she cleaned a few houses as she put herself through school for a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Cindy said that it was her husband who pushed her to start her own business by saying, “If you really put your mind to it, I know you can do it.” Before long, Chris had joined his wife in the business, handling much of the estate management and construction oriented tasks. “Things really worked out,” she said as she talked about how rough the beginning was, when she and Chris were looking at buying their first home and had twin babies that came to the job sites with them. “Our kids would be on piggyback while we worked.” Chris said. After Cindy started taking on more and more houses, her clients often asked if she knew anyone who could do small maintenance jobs. She would nominate her husband who now does everything from hanging pictures to grocery shopping to driving clients around. “Sometimes it’s a matter of having what a customer wants in their fridge ready for when they come out here,” said Chris. Now the business has approximately 150 clients and eight to 10 employees. Whereas Cindy focuses on the office end of the business, Chris takes on the handyman work, transportation and estate management. Cindy notes that C’s cleaning crews normally consist of three employees who manage to clean a 5,000 square foot house in an hour. C’s also uses green products, which use mostly raw materials and are non-toxic, but Cindy adds that if a client wants a specific product to be used in a home, she is happy to accommodate them. The business, which Cindy and Chris previously ran from their home, has been in its current location in the Noyac Square office complex since May where Cindy says it’s been much easier for her to be organized. Though times are tough for many local entrepreneurs the couple is not concerned – both say their business has tripled in the last three years. “I’ve never known someone who does so much to please her clients,” said Molly Ginna, an employee of C’s for the last two years. C’s Home and Office Management is located at 3331 Noyac Road, Sag Harbor. Call them at (631) 725-2408 or visit www.cshomemanagement.com
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