Until the birth of their first son, the concept of being careful about what kinds of cleaning products were used in their home didn’t have much meaning to Joey and Kirsten LaFrancois.
“The idea for Krunchy Konvert Green Cleaners was conceived on the same day that our first son, Marc, entered the world in 2009,” Joey LaFrancois said recently as he played on the carpet with Marc, 3-month-old son Rocco and the family’s dog, Katy.
Before Marc was born, the couple had spent the previous six years focused on their careers in Los Angeles, but with his birth they decided that LaFrancois would leave pharmaceutical sales to become a stay-at-home dad even as the family moved to Davis.
With more time spent at home, LaFrancois felt overwhelmed by the harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances in cleaning products and toiletries and began researching natural alternatives. The family’s kitchen quickly became a laboratory.
With his first creation, an all-purpose cleaner using essential oils, LaFrancois discovered that it cleaned effectively, “and the peppermint scent left behind was invigorating and energizing. The proverbial ‘light bulb’ switched on and I realized I wanted to create a cleaning service that uses only all-natural cleaning products combined with the therapeutic power of aromatherapy.”
After three years of experimentation and fine-tuning of various cleaning products (in consultation with his mother, who ran a home cleaning business in Southern California for three decades), Krunchy Konvert Green Cleaners was officially born last summer.
To name his fledgling company, LaFrancois turned to the Urban Dictionary, where the term “crunchy” is used to describe people who have adjusted or altered their lifestyle for environmental reasons.
“We define ‘krunchy’ as adjusting your lifestyle in order to optimize your health by eliminating unnecessary chemicals, toxins and additives from your home,” he explained.
Krunchy Konvert has received a warm welcome in Davis, according to LaFrancois, because it is such a natural fit.
“People in the city tend to share the same awareness and belief in using natural products that is the basis of our philosophy,” he said. “No education is needed, because people already understand the value of our service.”
The company offers three different services. The One-day Detox is for a special occasion, such as guests coming for the holidays or a new baby. The Master Cleanse is for anyone looking for an ongoing service. “It is that initial thorough cleaning that will get your house to square one, like a spring cleaning,” LaFrancois said. Then, anyone who has had the Master Cleanse and wants ongoing service would choose the Maintenance Cleanse, which is less time and cost.
In the wake of whatever service the family chooses, the house will be left with the gentle smell of the Krunchy Konvert products — either lemon eucalyptus or sweet orange lavender. The products aren’t currently available outside of the cleaning services (a bottle of all-purpose cleaner comes with the Master Cleanse or One-day Detox), but that will change in the future, according to LaFrancois, who says they eventually will be sold at the Davis Farmers Market and on the company’s website.
In the future, Krunchy Konvert also plans to give back to its community through two nonprofit organizations — Cleaning for a Reason, which donates cleaning services to women with cancer, and Cleaning for Heroes, which provides services to disabled and elderly veterans.
“Davis has given us so much, we want to give back,” he said.
To describe his company’s philosophy, LaFrancois said: “I am not on a mission to save the planet all by myself. Frankly, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night knowing that polar bears were relying on me to keep icebergs from melting.
“Simply put, I am just a guy who got his priorities in order when my first child was born. I have been on a continual journey ever since then to answer one simple question: What steps can we take as a family to achieve optimal health?”
For more information, email [email protected], call 530-204-7052 or check out the website, www.krunchykonvert.com. The website has a form for those interested in an estimate.