How a kiddie pool and a bucket launched our company
We find that is always important to recall where you came from, what experiences you went through, in order to see how far you’ve come. Our company wasn’t created out of nothing. There were a few very specific events that led up to the decision to build Driploc. And one of our favorite ones involved a kiddie pool and a bucket.
Barry Wagner started in the hood-cleaning world in 1995 with his mother, Jackie Wagner. Together they formed Wagner’s Restaurant Service. He was new to the hood-cleaning process but not unwilling to do the dirty work. Barry began developing and streamlining as many hood cleaning processes as possible in an effort to maximize profit and efficiency. He also began to develop processes for tackling concrete cleaning, cooking equipment, A/C coils, etc. These additional services were great opportunities to service the customers better, but honestly, there was one service that was really needed above all of those other ones. And that was dealing with the grease that was being discharged from the exhaust fans, leaking onto the rooftop and down the rain gutters.
As most hood cleaners are aware, it doesn’t matter how well you perform during cleaning, you may find yourself blamed for these grease issues that happen in between scheduled cleanings.
Barry began offering a pre-existing, but expensive, solution to resolve these issues, but most customers were resistant to the extra cost of grease containment, some even saying “I can’t afford to care about my rooftop that much.” Obviously, we know that’s preposterous with the exorbitant cost of roof repairs and replacements, but it’s such an “out of sight, out of mind” issue that it can be difficult to put a value on these grease services.
Here we are at the gateway of opportunity with a clearly defined mission. We would bring affordable grease containment solutions to the masses. And that is just what we did.
In March of 2002, Barry had a mentor/friend, Paul Cairns, who was a local pressure-washer supplier. He had not only distributed power wash equipment, but also found himself with an opportunity to solve a common concrete cleaning problem. At the time, most simply washed concrete with a single wand, which is like mowing your lawn with a weed eater! Paul developed a flat-surface cleaner, based off a lawnmower deck. With Paul’s experience, Barry knew he had found the perfect partner to start developing a grease containment system. He just needed to convince him.
Paul, like any entrepreneur, needed to see and understand the issue to really buy into the idea. So Barry’s mission was simple; take all his product samples and info to him and sell him on the idea of why they needed to start a company. But Paul thought Barry was simply a youngster fired up about a shiny new idea and ready to save the world. Being a good mentor, Paul challenged Barry to show him the proof that the issue was not an isolated incident but rather an everyday occurrence.
Barry accepted the challenge and they hopped into the truck and headed to the closest string of restaurants to inspect their rooftops. The first was a bar-and-grill restaurant with a typical grease problem. Next, an onion burger joint. A no-brainer as those tasty burgers bellow grease out everywhere. And last, they walked down the street to a breakfast chain restaurant which really sealed the deal. Barry could not have cherry-picked a better fan to show Paul. There was grease leaking everywhere. A hose ran from the exhaust fan into a 5-gallon Home Depot bucket that was sitting in a plastic kiddie swimming pool filled with sand. Clearly, this solution wasn’t working for this restaurant as the rooftop itself was covered in grease and a deceased bird stuck in the gunk. This disgusting non-solution really sold the idea of Driploc for itself. Paul was on board and Driploc was born.
Fast forward 17 years and our little company has developed over 60 new innovative products. Not simply for rooftop grease containment, but also hood-cleaning, power-washing, hanging plastic sheeting. All of Driploc’s products are field-tested on real rooftops and in real kitchens, under extreme temperatures and conditions to ensure quality and durability. Our products span the globe and solve countless large and small problems related to grease in commercial kitchens. We’ve aided our customers in providing safe work environments for themselves and their employees, preventing common workplace injuries and protecting our customer’s properties from costly grease and fire damage.