Even with no experience in the car wash business, something about Andy Cruz impressed James Benton enough to hire him as manager of his Flower Mound Speedy Bee Express Wash on FM 407.
Ten years later, Cruz remains at the job he truly loves.
“I am very thankful for the opportunity to work for this company, they treat me like family,” said the 32-year-old Cruz. “The owner has been pretty good to me. He lets me hire the entire team myself. He gives me the authority to make those decisions.”
He remains close to a number of his original employees.
“It’s kind of cool to see them grow,” Cruz said. “Sometimes we’ve become friends and I follow them on Facebook. It’s cool to see that transition. When I hired some of them they were in high school and then went on to and graduated from college, married and some have children.”
Born and raised in Mexico, Cruz moved to the United States at age 16 and two years later graduated from Lewisville High School. His first job was as a dishwasher at Flower Mound’s Pazzo Woodfired Pizza. He was later promoted to bus boy and waiter before moving to the Holiday Inn in Denton where he was head breakfast line cook for two years.
At Speedy Bee, Cruz supervises 6-7 employees including Sebastian Aguilar who has worked with him since 2011. While he has many regular customers, he knows more by the car they drive than by name.
“It’s kind of fun to be recognized outside the work area,” said Cruz, who is married to wife Leti and has a stepdaughter Emma, 20. “I’ll be at Walmart or Target and they’ll say ‘hey, you are the car wash guy.’”
The funniest story about his tenure is how some customers don’t know how to put their cars in neutral.
“They’re sometimes embarrassed and turn red when we try to explain it,” he said. “It’s funny to see their reaction. But how many times when you use the car do you put it in neutral? It’s pretty rare.”