Stephanie Ward, vice president and business development officer for Citizens Bank of West Virginia, takes the company Jeep for a spin through the new B-U Time to Shine car wash, which opened Saturday morning in Tennerton. / Photos by Katie Kuba

B-U Time to Shine car wash is open for business

TENNERTON – Does the lingering snow, ice and salt have you down about a dirty vehicle?

Luckily, the Buckhannon-Upshur community’s new self-service, soft-gloss/soft-touch car wash, B-U Time to Shine, is now open 24/7.

On Saturday, B-U Time to Shine owners Chad Thropp and Tim Bragg unveiled a brightly colored ‘Open’ flag after their first customer, vice president of Citizens Bank of West Virginia Stephanie Ward, had an opportunity to drive through the car wash. Ward had been invited to utilize it on a mud-covered company Jeep before anyone else.

As vice president and business development officer for Citizens Bank of West Virginia, Ward made the experience of securing a commercial business loan smooth, Thropp and Bragg said, so they wanted to thank her for her assistance with the financing process.

“Our hats are off to Stephanie and Citizens Bank,” Thropp said. “We wanted Stephanie to be our first customer because she made it such a pleasant experience with no stress and no aggravation. I’ve never dealt with a bank and had such a positive experience … ever.”

Located across from Kroger and Skyline Plaza in Tennerton, the soft-gloss car wash incorporates the very best washing chemicals, foaming soaps and a unique cleaning method to buff cars back to their original beauty, its owners said.

Stephanie Ward, vice president and business development officer for Citizens Bank of WV, emerges from the B-U Time to Shine car wash with a newly clean Jeep.

Thropp and Bragg said their number one goal in opening the car wash was to provide customers with a service they often had a hard time finding in Upshur County: a car wash that would get cars truly clean.

“This is like as if you’re taking your hand with a shammy cloth and actually washing your car with a delicate sponge as opposed to just high-pressure water spraying on it,” Thropp said Saturday morning as B-U Time to Shine prepared to open. “It’s a soft-touch buffing process that actually gets your car clean.”

Thropp and Bragg conducted thorough research prior to contracting with National Carwash Solutions to install the drive-through wash, which offers customers three wash packages that range from three-and-a-half to five minutes in time. The top-level wash package, dubbed the Ultimate Package, polishes vehicles with a ceramic sealant after the washing process is complete.

“The reason it took so much research is because our main thrust was having something in this community that would actually clean a clear – that was our number one goal,” Thropp said. “We were all about that the whole way through this. We even purchased the more expensive chemicals because we don’t want a light show in here; we want it to clean your car. We worked with National Carwash Solutions, and they have the Cadillac of car washes.”

“In the upgraded chemicals that we purchased is actually ceramics, and that’s big in the car wash industry right now, and it is very expensive to purchase,” Thropp added. “This car wash is offering a ceramic sealant for your car. It’s part of the Ultimate Package process.”

Industry-grade ceramic coating is a chemical solution applied to the exterior of a vehicle to prevent paint damage to the body. As far as the insides of vehicles go, Bragg asked customers to be patient, saying vacuums for removing dirt and debris from the interior of cars are on their way this spring.

“The vacuums were back-ordered on us, but those will be coming in the spring as well,” Bragg said.

B-U Time to Shine is tentatively planning a grand opening this spring, complete with a cookout for its customers.

Even before it was built, the new car wash created a significant social media buzz in Buckhannon this summer when passersby spotted the dilapidated Long John Silver’s restaurant finally being torn down. In October, Bragg and Thropp confirmed the construction of a soft-gloss car wash.

For her part, Ward enjoyed watching the small business’s plans progress.

“They made it easy; anything I asked for, they had available right away,” she said. “It was just very exciting when they approached me for this and we got everything started, and they started taking the Long John Silver’s building down, I just kept following the buzz on social media. Nobody really knew what was going on, and it was exciting just to watch it progress to what it is now.”