A clean start pays off for Ernesto and Anna Lopez
September 21, 2020

A clean start pays off for Ernesto and Anna Lopez

The owners of Clean Planet’s largest commercial franchise moved to New Zealand from El Salvador in 2004. 

Politics, football, faith and hard work all played a part in helping Ernesto Lopez build a new life for his family in New Zealand. 

Lopez ran a successful marketing company in El Salvador before politics forced him to leave the country he loved. He did some advertising work for one political party and when the opposition came to power Lopez realised it would be safer for him to flee the country. 

He already had family in Australia so Perth was his first destination when he left El Salvador in 2001. Ernesto and his family lived in Western Australia for five years but when his visa expired, he turned to New Zealand. When his application for a political refugee visa to stay here was turned down, Lopez faced the prospect of having to leave New Zealand and start all over again in another country.  


Faith and football 


Fortunately for Lopez and his family, his son — also called Ernesto — was a promising footballer who was selected for the New Zealand U17 team in 2009 which meant he was eligible for a talent resident visa.  

Fifteen years later Ernesto and his family are still in New Zealand and he is proud to call this country home. He’s now Clean Planet’s biggest franchisee with 15 employees and he is also a pastor in his local church.  

Ernesto and Anna LopezErnesto and Anna Lopez  (on the left) along with their team (on the right)

When Ernesto first came to New Zealand, he and his wife Anna worked as cleaners at Dilworth Jr. School and King’s School in Remuera.

“We worked really hard,” says Ernesto. We worked 12-16 hours a day and I thank God for giving us the strength to do that.” 

Ernesto also credits God with his decision to apply for a Clean Planet franchise. 

“It was hard to say goodbye to the schools we worked for because we had a lot of appreciation for the teachers, students and our bosses. But we had saved enough money to buy a business and Clean Planet was highly recommended. We talked with them and we liked the business. Cleaning was a business we knew well, and it was something we were good at and we wanted our own business to give us some security.” 


The right decision 

Ernesto’s franchise turned over $400,000 in 2019, making it the largest franchise in the country.  In terms of the benefits of becoming a franchise owner with Clean Planet, Ernesto emphasized how important it is to be professional in every way and with every person you meet. 

“Everyone can clean; however, when you cover a very large commercial cleaning site such as a school, a factory, a big office, you need to be very professional in cleaning and in your manner. Maintaining a consistent superior cleaning quality and excellent customer service are the keys to be successful in this business.”  

Ernesto’s philosophy is “use the right product, in the right place, at the right time, with the right person, and with the right attitude.”

“We are so happy with the decision to work with such a good company in such a beautiful country. We always give the best of ourselves and we feel blessed to live in New Zealand. My motto is to serve without expecting anything in return. Giving is always better than receiving. We encourage our employees to think the same way and to work hard to provide better service to our clients every day. Being surrounded by good people makes it easier for us to live here and not miss El Salvador so much. I love this country that gave me a chance as much or more than the country of my birth, my dear El Salvador.” 


September 21, 2020
Clean Planet
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