Who We Are
After intense research, Gleam Car Wash was born. Gleam opened in the fall of 2016 and has created 40 jobs, cleaned hundreds of thousands of vehicles, and strives to produce the highest quality car, with the greenest possible infrastructure and the most inclusive possible hiring practices, in all of Colorado and beyond. Approximately 20 percent of Gleam employees have an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD). The remaining Gleam employees are all on a spectrum of some sort (because aren’t we all?) and comprise high schoolers, college students, professional detailers and car washers of all ages.
Gleam Car Wash was started from scratch by Emilie Baratta after a neighbor offhandedly remarked that their neighborhood didn’t have a car wash. After a decade in complex infill redevelopment work across numerous cities, Emilie had started her own small real estate company, scaling from developing green high rises down to small, interesting one-off projects. A car wash seemed a great way to build green, enhance the community via inclusive hiring and job creation, and provide a needed service.
Gleam takes environmental stewardship seriously. The wash has 41 kW of solar on its tunnel rooftop, which is itself designed to have the optimal pitch for solar energy generation. Motors have VFDs, LED lighting dominates, and waste streams are seriously monitored – the car wash recycles and composts. Additionally, Gleam is a mini water-treatment plant, capturing up to 90% of the water used in the tunnel, treating and reusing that scarce resource. As a result, instead of using up to 100 gallons of potable (drinkable) water per car, Gleam uses approximately 10 gallons of potable with the remainder being “reclaim” water. None of these measures were required by code or zoning; it has been 100% voluntary.
Gleam staff is dedicated to providing top notch car washing service, providing everything from simple exterior car washes to the highest end detailing. Emilie runs Gleam Car Wash alongside Eiljah Williams, a serial entrepreneur who can literally fix anything, and Matthew Weston, a detail veteran who has run teams detailing everything from hundred million dollar planes down to Datsuns headed to auction. The entire team is proud of contributing to our community and protecting our environment.
Gleam Car Wash Partners with Project SEARCH to Hire People with Cognitive Disabilities
Founder Emilie Baratta started Gleam with a focus on sustainability, as well as giving back to our community in the best ways possible. One the of the initiatives we are most proud of is our proactive employment outreach to hire as many people with cognitive disabilities as we can. Typically, between five and 20 percent of our staff are individuals on the autism spectrum or who have another cognitive disability.
We're excited to have partnered with Children's Hospital Colorado's Project SEARCH program, an innovative program that supports high school students with significant disabilities as they transition into the workforce. So far Gleam has hired three graduates from Project SEARCH!