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A clean sweep is what Staggs labors for
Thomas Staggs shows off the steel spindle, one of the best-selling models at his Manteca vacuum repair and sales store on North Main Street. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL
Thomas Staggs knows just about everything there is to know about the machines that make it possible to keep your carpets clean.

That expertise – something that he has been building since he was a sophomore in high school when he started working at his father’s M&L Vacuum on N. Main Street – has become both his labor of love and his primary source of income.

But in the day and age when newfangled ideas and snazzy eye-catching designs are dominating the market, Staggs says that people are less likely to purchase a quality vacuum that won’t pose nearly the amount of problems of their flashy counterparts.

“When it comes to a vacuum cleaner, the simpler the product the better it’s going to be,” he said. “That’s the advice that I always give my customers – just because technology evolves over the years doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s good for everything across the board.”

The quaint storefront that displays some of the best selling models who the shop offers is a welcome retreat for Staggs that has grown accustomed to the days of informing a frustrated customer what exactly that loud whining noise is or why it’s always better to go for a model for a bag.

Even with his father as the primary owner of the shop, Staggs says having the freedom of owning a small business is what drives him and keeps him coming back each and every day.

“There’s just something about that feeling that you are your own boss and you have the ability to make decisions about something,” he said. “We also do a lot of work for the school district and some of the local churches, so it’s also nice to get the chance to meet a lot of different people and educate them on what they need to do in order to keep their machines up and running.

“And there’s also something about being able to help someone who comes in and is having trouble – knowing that you’re able to do something that’s going to make their day a little bit better. That’s definitely one of the best parts of the job.”