Published on September 11th, 2007 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg1
Herb’n Maid: Green Cleaning Comes to the Lou’
A couple of weeks ago, I got email from Richelle White, the co-owner of Herb’n Maid, a new green cleaning service in town. While I’m now officially inundated with press inquiries, I thought Richelle and partner Larbi Belkouch’s story was intriguing, and wanted to give some attention to their fledging company.
According to the press materials Richelle sent me, she’s yet another one of those people who grew weary of working in the traditional corporate world because the values of her employer didn’t match her own. She set out to build the kind of company that she’d like to work for, and discovered, upon looking for less toxic cleaning products for her own use, that nothing like a green cleaning service existed in St. Louis. Boyfriend Larbi was a research scientist and the former owner of a janitorial service. The two of them put their heads together, and Herb’n Maid was born.
One part of the launch that I found particularly interesting was the development of their own products for use in clients’ homes and buildings. Larbi makes the cleaners himself in small batches with a range of earth-friendly “natural ingredients and essential oils like tea tree oil, spearmint, tangerine, ginger, eucalyptus and — White’s favorite — lemon verbena.”
So far, the reviews are strong: the company has published numerous testimonials on its website, and Sauce magazine, a local publication devoted to the maxim “Dine, Drink and Live Well!” featured the company in it’s Daily Sauce newsletter. Richelle tells me they’ve been “wonderfully overwhelmed with inquiries.”
It’s good to see yet another green business not only launching in St. Louis, but also succeeding. People are concerned about the toxins in typical cleaning products, and the EPA notes they have good reason: “In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities.” We’re not in the market for a cleaning service right now, but should that change, I know who we’ll be calling…