greenwich

Mark Curtis and Chris Fisher, co-owners of Splash Car Wash man the water pistols at their West Putnam Ave location, the first of their 19 car washes. | Leslie Yager

Back in 1981, before they could even drive, a pair of teens from Greenwich, Connecticut decided to start a car wash. The two became friends when they were boys and went into business when they were 15. Now more than 30 years later, Mark Curtis and friend Chris Fisher own 19 car wash locations across two states, according to the Greenwich Free Press.

Fisher said he used to look for businesses that were up for sale in the classifieds. One day, he spotted one in the New York Times for a business in Greenwich. It was a car wash that boasted servicing 50,000 cars a year.

“I extrapolated from what was probably the busiest day, and multiplied by 365,” Fisher said.  “We borrowed all the money and two months later, in 1981, we got into the business. What followed was a lot of on-the-job training.”

But the business managed to flourish and the pair is still in it together. Splash Car Wash is now in Connecticut and New York with 500 employees. While as many as 90 percent of car washes across the country are independently owned, Fisher and Curtis said theirs is an exception.

One of their favorite attractions aims to make the car wash experience more fun for kids. The water pistol game is even popular among adults. There’s also a video game for kids to play while they wait.

As an active business in the community, Splash Car Wash gives back to a different charity each year by donating 5 percent of proceeds from gift cards.