One-year old Houghton firm set to employ 30 people

The Clean and Clare  team, from left,  Becky Foley Katie Smith-Ames  Claire Bah Claire King Vicky Churchman Sinead Ramshaw Abbie Davies ANL-150729-080158009
The Clean and Clare team, from left, Becky Foley Katie Smith-Ames Claire Bah Claire King Vicky Churchman Sinead Ramshaw Abbie Davies ANL-150729-080158009

After setting out a year ago as a one-woman band with a vacuum cleaner and a steamer, Claire King, from Houghton, has developed a rapidly-expanding business which now employs 14.

And she has just received the good news in time for the firm’s first anniversary that she has landed a new contract which means her business, Clean and Clare Ltd is set to double in size. Now she will be looking to recruit at least a further 15 employees.

“My first year has surpassed all my expectations,” said Claire. “And news of this contract is a significant step forward for the business.”

Before setting up on her own, she worked as a healthcare assistant for the NHS for ten years but decided to leave and do something different.

“At first it was just me with a little vacuum cleaner and steamer. I sat down and wrote between 60 and 70 emails to various businesses in the area and I also did leaflet drops.

“I went out and did the cleaning that I had to do, taking on enough for myself, but more and more work kept coming in. People were continually contacting me wanting cleaning services.

“Now I have 14 girls working for me, who work part time and flexible hours, and this new contract will mean that I shall need no less than 15 new recruits and possibly more.”

Clean and Clare carries out cleaning in people’s homes as well as offices, hotels, bed and breakfast guesthouses, wedding venues, holiday homes and more besides. “We do absolutely everything – we clean carpets, ovens – whatever the customer wants,” said Claire, whose husband, John, is a chimney sweep trading as Top of the Pops. “John often is asked to come along at the same time, so that the whole job gets done in one go, which is particularly popular with business clients,” said Claire.

Her catchment area includes coastal villages, Burnham Market, Hunstanton, Fakenham, Lynn and Swaffham.

Claire is still very hands-on in the business and continues to clean as well as handling the admin and spot checks, which she carries out with her head housekeeper, Vicky Churchman.

“We have very high standards, which is why we go out and check that they are being well maintained,” said Claire.

In future she hopes to continue expanding her business. She said: “I would like to open an office in Norwich and Peterborough, but at the same ensure that we continue to keep our standards high.”

Clean and Clare celebrates its first anniversary on Wednesday, August 5. The business can be contacted on 07415770574.