Visalia cleaning supplier seeks wider market to ‘TKO’ bacteria


tko

TKO — short for Totally Kills Odors — can be found at Whitie’s Pets in Fresno and a handful of other retail stores in the area. Photo by Ben Hensley

published on November 17, 2023 – 2:18 PM
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A local producer of cleaning products hopes to someday occupy space among America’s trusted household brands.

Think Lysol, Clorox and Tide.

Robert Coray and his wife Cindy opened their first carpet cleaning business in the Bay Area in 1982. It was there they developed a cleaning product — Rugged Road Plus — that Coray described as the “PacMan of cleaning products,” literally eating odors at their source — the bacteria that cause them.

The product, rebranded as TKO — short for Totally Kills Odors — was borne from Coray’s cleaning supply business, Coray’s Right-Way Pacific. When the duo relocated to Visalia in 1990, they found success in the Valley.

“As we moved forward with the carpet cleaning service as a part-time business, it actually morphed into a chemical formulation business,” he said.

Coray said the profitability of the cleaning business spoke for itself; at one point, it generated more than $40,000 in a year for just part-time work.

After moving to the Valley, Pet Faire, which had three locations in Visalia, Hanford and Porterville, began to carry his product. In 2010, Fresno’s Whitie’s Pets began stocking TKO products. TKO is also sold in three Valley Napa Auto Parts Stores. 

Coray’s goal is to make TKO available to any and all households and cleaning services. To that end, he is also exploring e-commerce.

“I was impressed with the product’s effectiveness immediately upon using it in my home for various applications,” said Whitie’s Pets owner John Shafer in a business spotlight on the County Advisory Board. “There just doesn’t seem to be a situation that this product can’t rectify.”

Utilizing seven odor-killing enzymes, the product can be used either diluted or undiluted and cleans all surfaces from carpet to concrete.

“Like I say, ‘Pac Man in a bottle.’ It just eats up all of the bacteria that causes that odor,” Coray said.

Coray is hopeful the business can extend its distribution in the coming years. He is also in the process of creating a partnership with Shopify and other online channels.

He thinks TKO could also present opportunities for other entrepreneurs.

“Perhaps that person that wants to start a small business, it’s ideal to build your business around TKO for the purpose of sales, distribution, carpet cleaning services, services like cleaning garbage receptacles — it’s a very, very good product for starting a small business,” he said.

TKO products are available directly through the warehouse by calling (559) 284-6983 or emailing tkorobert@yahoo.com. For more information, visit the TKO website.





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