MERIDEN — Just a week after opening, Class Act Auto Wash invited the community for a day of fun, while showcasing its businesses, which goes beyond just washing a car to also include washing the family dog.
After 35 years in the waste management business, David Carabetta thought it was time for a change in careers, and he could never ignore his passion for cars.
“I think it’s important to have a modern facility for all expensive commodities,” Carabetta said.
Class Act is new business on the corner of East Main Street and Research Parkway specializing in car and pet washes. On Sunday afternoon, Class Act hosted its first block party with area organizations, including Girls Inc., Beat the Street, Meriden Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA, as well as a car show to celebrate the opening.
With three boys, Meriden resident Kirsten Weisz said, she can never keep her car as clean as she wants it to be. She usually travels to Wallingford to get her car washed and vacuumed. Now she’s happy her car and dog can be washed at the same time — “one stop shopping” she said.
“I’m so happy it’s right down the street from me,” she said. “My husband will bring the dog for a wash and I’ll take the car through. It’s very easy access.”
Weisz said it’s always a chore washing her dog at home.
“This set up is great. I won’t have to worry about cleaning the bathroom after his wash,” she said.
Many people came to the party just to see how the pet wash operated. During the planning stages, the idea of a pet wash started with Carabetta’s wife, Lisa.
“We attended many car wash exhibitions and I saw pet washes and thought, ‘Oh, that’s cool.’ I wanted to bring it over,” Lisa Carabetta said.
The self-service pet wash has two rooms for dogs. The dogs walk up a ramp, bringing them to table for the wash. Each room has a hose and one pet vacuum and dryer. The water and shampoo is dispensed fromf the hose. Customers choose options from a selection of grooming buttons.
“I’ve heard of these before,” Meriden resident Karen O’Brien said. “I just never expected to see one in a car wash.”
O’Brien bought her terrier mix, Mo, for a wash. At first she was unsure if she and her husband, Ed, were going to try the service, but she said “he definitely needs a bath.”
Before O’Brien had the chance to grab the vacuum after the wash, Mo moved around, splattering O’Brien with water. Before she stepped out of the room, she ran the dryer hose over her shirt.
“It’s such a back-breaking job in the tub at home,” she said, “but this is nice.”
Ed O’Brien said they were able to wash, rinse and blow-dry their dog in less than 15 minutes. It would take them double that time at home.
Because of Carabetta’s previous work in waste management, he wanted to bring his familiarity with eco-friendly recycling and environmental friendly products to the business.
“The building itself is built with lightweight aggregates, which is produced from waste materials,” Carabetta said. “All the detergents are environmental friendly.”
Cara Pavalock, of New Britain, came specifically to wash her dog.
“It’s so different, but it’s also so convenient and easy. You just press buttons and pick your options,” Pavalock said.
Alongside the pet wash, Carabetta said there are two drive-through washes and a self-service wash, as well as one for oversized vehicles.
“Cars need the same care people do, that’s why I’m here,” he said.