Crescent Moon Rises Above the Rest in Western New York

Elite golf tournaments, pro-football training camps, and other special event contracts are the highpoint, the zenith, the Big Kahuna, so to speak, of the portable restroom world. Snagging a lucrative special event contract is tough; keeping one—and getting others—is even tougher. The competition is brutal, the clients are demanding, and the high-end equipment is expensive.

Meet the owners of Crescent Moon portable restrooms of Farmington, N.Y. This father-son-son-team wedged its way into the world of special events, making it their specialty. But how did they do it? Short cuts or luck had little to do with their success. Larry Moravec and his sons, Bryan and Jeff, did it the old-fashioned way: with hard work. They weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, an uncomfortable prospect in any business, let alone the portable toilet business.

What started as a one-tank truck and ten-toilet company has grown to an impressive family-owned enterprise with more than $1 million in sales. The numbers tell the story. Today, Crescent Moon has 800 toilets, 24 restroom trailers, eight station shower trailers, eight pumper trucks, and one septic truck. And to house all that equipment, in May, they moved into a new, 30,000-square-foot building, a purchase made possible largely through a sagging real estate market.

In all, Crescent Moon and the Moravec family have quadrupled the business in just four short years since they purchased it in 2006. Through the usual new business adjustments and a brutal recession, the Moravecs have become the go-to company in western New York state.

With the benefit of hindsight, it seems as if the Moravec brothers were destined to join the family business. Dad Larry got the portable toilet bug after attending a pumper show, Bryan explained. He started Larry’s Latrines in Hornell, N.Y., in 1998, selling it in January after expanding from the ten-toilet company (mentioned earlier) to some 500 units with four trucks.

The boys helped out during their summer breaks from high school and college (Bryan at the State University of New York Buffalo, Jeff at SUNY Cortland). They graduated with business management degrees, always intending to own a business but never dreaming it would have to do with portable toilets.

As the business grew and the opportunity arose to buy Crescent Moon, Bryan and Jeff found themselves acting as co-owners along with their father. Now 28 and 29 years old, respectively, Bryan and Jeff work side by side with their father, Larry, 57, at the thriving business.

And thriving it is: Crescent Moon’s main interest is in special events. They “inherited” the Wegman’s LPGA Championship at the Locust Hill Country Club in nearby Rochester, which was a client of Crescent Moon’s when they bought the company. Happy with the service, word spread among other event planners. Eventually, Crescent Moon won the contract for the PGA tournament at Turning Stone in Syracuse, the Buffalo Bills training camp at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, and the New York Jets training camp at the SUNY CORTLAND campus.

Special event contracts for portable toilet companies are even more difficult to keep than they are to get, Bryan explained. “My advice is to have the highest quality of service to differentiate yourself from your competition. With the PGA or the Bills or anyone else, you work from 6 a.m. to 5:55 a.m., 24/7.”
Crescent Moon counts among its workers seven full-time employees and the three Moravecs. They work side by side with their employees as much as possible. For special event clients, they make sure they are setting toilets, pumping tanks, and doing work on the site throughout the event.

“The owners (of a business like ours) have to do a lot of the work,” Bryan said. “With your big customers, you have to be the one doing the work. It means a lot to them. They want to see the owner scrubbing toilets. You have to have what they want. No
is not an answer. When I go to the PGA, they don’t want to hear ‘no.’ They want the highest quality of product; they want the highest quality of service.”

New business comes from referrals. While “inheriting” the LPGA contract was a bonus, Bryan said the group would have dropped Crescent Moon in a heartbeat if it had not done its job well. Doing the work themselves, providing high-end facilities such as fireplaces, glass vessel sinks, and other amenities in the trailers, and never, ever, saying “no” are the keys.

While Bryan and his brother Jeff didn’t expect to be in the portable toilet business specifically, they knew they would be successful business owners—college degrees or not. Bryan said their dad, Larry, has been responsible for their most important lessons.

“It was the way our father brought us up,” Bryan said. “Without his upbringing and know-how, we wouldn’t be who we are today. We work from 6:30 a.m. to 10 or 11 p.m. at night, whatever it takes to get it done.” And they never say no. 

Story by Marie Elium

Please follow and like us:

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Follow by Email