by Debi Sporleder
JJ and Casey Rivera have taken on a business that not many people would tackle in life – port-a-johns and trash. But business has been booming for them and they are thankful for the opportunities in the local market.
Rivera decided to get into this business because of the demand and the economy. He was working in the oil fields, wanted a way out and when he saw how so many people couldn’t afford the rates being charged, he knew he could do a great job at lower prices.
He grew up in the business with his father, Melvin, who founded Rivera’s Vacuum Service in Trinidad. Melvin worked for Shell Oil and would come home to clean toilets and pump septic. Melvin is an integral part of the operation with many hats: he’s a driver, he bids on jobs and is JJ’s advisor and manager. JJ says, “without him, I would have shut down the doors.”
Little Stinker was birthed in 2010 due to the demand, and is now a thriving business covering cities all over the Southern Colorado region. JJ and Melvin built their own trucks, being mechanically inclined, and with septic tanks being their specialty. Then, when he saw the demand for port-a-johns, they invested in three which boomed to 300 in the last year. They have taken that part of the industry to the next level with a high standard in sanitation. They even have specific ADA compliant bathrooms available for events greater than 20 people (or upon request).
With Breast Cancer Awareness Month, they had a pink port-a-john built for women only. It has no urinal and visitors are encouraged to write a special note in memory of a loved one who has suffered from breast cancer.
This is a family run business. Not only is his father integral to the operation, but his mother helps Casey out in the office. His mother-in-law and father-in-law are active in the business as well as his sister, who helps clean their port-a-johns on her days off.
Even his 11 year old nephew is riding in the trucks, making money and working hard – he’s very good and earns great money in tips because he’s a hard worker and isn’t out getting in trouble. According to Rivera, “He’s a world of refreshment and I’ll have no problem leaving this company in his hands. He’s very good with customer service.” This means the Riveras are building a business to stand the test of time, well into the next generation.