Continuing a Legacy

Thirty-three years ago, Gary Duncan founded this company out of necessity to care for his growing family. His heart for service led him to the janitorial field. Mr. Duncan recognized the value of a clean working environment and the benefit this brings to clients.

His dedication to providing excellent service by utilizing a people-centric approach has resulted in a company culture that celebrates and values the individual employee as much as the clientele. His impact on the community, company employees, and their families has been felt all over East Tennessee, Kentucky, and now Salt Lake City, Utah. We celebrate the legacy of Gary Duncan each day as we renew our commitment to each other and our clients.

Despite the challenges that the Covid era has brought forth, Duncan and Sons not only survived, but actually saw growth by adding disinfectant services. We are proud that we were able to keep our employees working for the duration of the pandemic while providing the essential services to allow businesses to stay open/reopen and operate safely.

Today, Luke Duncan, Reuben Duncan, and Sheri Henegar continue to build upon the foundation and legacy established by Mr. Duncan. Commitment to serving the client’s needs as a top priority is the time proven method that has been the key to our success.

Continuing our growth, our leadership has seized an opportunity by partnering with Garden City Companies, an Atlanta-based business dedicated to helping service companies excel.

Garden City Companies, an Atlanta based company dedicated to helping service companies reach their full potential. Garden City’s CEO Michael Arrieta describes their business philosophy, “How are we different? Our name comes from the biblical story of the Garden of Eden where everyone is created in God’s image to thrive, prosper & flourish. We created Garden City to further grow already amazing companies and ensure that all workers can actualize their God-given potential to truly love their jobs. A place where all workers have respect, dignity, and purpose. This is why we exist.”

Business Wire Magazine has a great article about the partnership.

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Atlanta-based Garden City Companies, which counts Chick-fil-A Board Director – Dale Jones, Vanderbilt University Trustee – George Huber, President of the Clayton Family Office – Flynt Griffin, Music Artist – Chris Tomlin, Athlete and Entrepreneur – Drew Brees, and CEO of Ashley HomeStore DSG – Chad Spencer among its investors, acquired Duncan & Sons Building Maintenance, Knoxville’s top rated commercial janitorial and facilities maintenance company.

“The janitorial business is an often overlooked industry where quality service makes all the difference”

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Garden City intends to expand Duncan & Sons’ services further across Tennessee and the broader Southeast. ​Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, the family-owned business has been serving the East Tennessee market for more than 30 years.

“The Duncan Standard has always been about serving people. From our cleaners to executive management, everyone prides themselves for leading with a servant heart,” said Luke Duncan, CEO of Duncan & Sons. “With Garden City’s investment, we’re now equipped to further advance our mission and better serve our manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, education, office and church clients with the best cleaning service in the industry.”

“We couldn’t be more excited to join the Duncan & Sons family to continue building an employee-first culture where all workers can thrive,” said Michael Arrieta, Founder and CEO of Garden City Companies. “Our intent is to continue fostering a caring culture through unparalleled service to customers and deep care for our team members.”

According to Arrieta, Garden City has no intention to ever sell the company. “We’re not like traditional private equity that buys and flips companies in a few years. We buy great businesses to impact the lives of people and create lasting enterprises through culture and technology,” he said.

“The janitorial business is an often overlooked industry where quality service makes all the difference,” said Arrieta. “There is no better cleaning company in the region than Duncan & Sons, and we are excited to share their quality and culture with many more.”

“Excellent service is a true differentiating factor in any industry, but especially in the janitorial space,” said Chick-fil-A Board Director, Dale Jones. “For decades, Duncan & Sons has cleaned with exceptional care, attention to detail, and professionalism. Together with Garden City, we are excited for many more to experience the level of service we offer.”

Vanderbilt University Trustee and CEO of Equity Investment Group, George Huber agrees. “Duncan and Sons is a trusted family business that has been providing quality service for over 30 years. Garden City’s buy and hold model allows us to make long-term investments to ensure the business thrives another 30 years.”

In addition to janitorial companies, Garden City is looking to acquire other small to mid-sized businesses across the Southeast from owners who are actively looking for a succession or liquidity plan. Inspired by Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway, the company keeps the acquisition process simple with a 90-day process, using little to no debt and keeping management teams in place.

“As​ ​a local Tennessee business owner, I believe wholeheartedly in Garden City’s purpose-driven model where people matter most. I​ believe purpose-driven team members always create delighted customers and ultimately an experience second to none,” said Chad Spencer, CEO of Ashley HomeStore DSG.​ ​“I am excited to help scale this business across the great state of Tennessee,” he said.

For more information, visit gardencityequity.com.

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