Zep! Boom! Pow!
Quick facts about the Atlanta-based janitorial supply firm
Back in 1937, atlantan Mandle Zaban borrowed $6,000 against his life insurance policy and, with his brother, Sam, started janitorial supply firm Zep Manufacturing. Nearly eight decades and various acquisitions later, the Westside company now called Zep Inc. sells thousands of products that eradicate almost anything: graffiti (Zep Write Away), trash odors (Zep Dumpster Fair), bugs in your barn (Country Vet Farm and Dairy Fly Spray), dust on your Boeing D6 (Zep Aircraft Cleaner II), or funk permeating your Porsche (Armor All Professional New Car Fragrance). For dirty hands, there’s Zep Cherry Bomb, which removes tar, ash, carbon, asphalt, and resin; $100 for a four-gallon jug. Zep, whose 200,000 clients include hospitals, car washes, and, yes, the government, has a sizable earth-friendly line. Apparently keeping clean is recession-proof: 2011 net sales were $646 million.
Photograph by Andrea Fremiotti. This article originally appeared in our January 2013 issue.