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SBDC's Mary Cervantes: A clean success: a story of one AmCan business
Small Business

SBDC's Mary Cervantes: A clean success: a story of one AmCan business

  • Updated

Understanding the importance of home and family, California Dream Cleaners of American Canyon provides residential cleaning services to allow more time for yourself, time with your family and overall peace of mind.

“Moms and Dads lead very busy lives holding down a job and having children. It can be very stressful. Children need attention and there is too much to do,” said Claudia Santos, owner of California Dream Cleaners. “This is when my business comes in to help. Moms and Dads say, ‘What a relief to have a clean home.’”

Twenty-four years ago, Claudia and her boyfriend (now husband) sought a better future and left Guatemala for the United States.

With a degree in home economics, Claudia connected with the needs of the home, family and the structure to build a strong family. On her own, Claudia started cleaning homes to help support her family. Then in 2016, Claudia formally started her cleaning business in American Canyon.

“I did a lot of research on my own to figure out what licenses and permits I needed. I hired a coach to teach me how to clean properly and professionally,” said Claudia. “I also connected with leaders in the cleaning industry.”

Claudia hired independent contractors and has now grown her business into Napa, American Canyon, Benicia, Vallejo, Fairfield and Vacaville.

Cleaning services include green residential cleaning, deep cleaning, regular maintenance, vacation rental cleaning and move in-move out cleaning. California Dream Cleaners’ services are listed on their web site, or call 707-208-9659.

Through the nonprofit, Cleaning for a Reason, Claudia offers two free home cleanings to women undergoing cancer treatment.

The mission of Cleaning for a Reason is to give the gift of free house cleaning to women cancer patients so they can focus on their health and treatment and not have to worry about cleaning their home.

Seeking business assistance to help with her business growth, Claudia was referred by the American Canyon Chamber of Commerce to Napa Valley College. She attended a Napa Sonoma Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Recordkeeping workshop, met Sandy Stelter and heard about NxLeveL Entrepreneurial training.

“NxLeveL helped me to make the transition from independent contractors to employees,” she said.

“Sandy recommended I take NxLeveL which I did in Spring 2019. I learned a lot in NxLeveL. There were many areas I found I needed help,” said Claudia. “I hired two more employees after I took NxLeveL. Hiring is very scary and expensive. I needed to know what to prepare for when hiring employees.”

Claudia now has five employees. California Dream Cleaners’ vision is to provide customers the best quality cleaning, the most outstanding service and have extremely satisfied customers, she said.

The Napa Sonoma Small Business Development Center offers free and confidential one-on-one technical assistance with expert professional business advisors.

If you are interested in SBDC services, call 707-256-7250 or go to to apply for services.

Mary Cervantes is the business services director for Napa Valley College Napa-Sonoma Small Business Development Center. Reach her at 256-7253 or

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