Bart Mitchell, the founder of Litchfield Park Pool Service, continues to bring quality service and products to customers after 40 years of business.
Mitchell opened his business in 1979 after finding himself battling an internal conflict.
“I taught geometry at a high school in Buckeye, and after about five years I realized like all other teachers, ‘I can’t really afford to do this,’ so I started looking for other options,” Mitchell said.
“I had started to take care of my neighbors’ pools in old Litchfield in summers I was off, and then it just took off.”
Mitchell was no newbie when it came to maintenance of pools, though; in fact, it was something he was introduced to before his teaching career.
“When I was 15, I started taking care of the pool in Goodyear — the old Loma Linda pool — and I worked there for three years and then went to (Arizona State University),” Mitchell said.
“In the four out of the six years I was there, I worked at the Boys Club swimming pool, so I was familiar with the maintenance and upkeep of swimming pools.”
Starting a business is difficult on its own, but maintaining it through life’s obstacles can bring its own struggles.
With the help of his family, Mitchell’s journey was no exception.
“When our second child was born in 1984 and when I quit teaching and started doing this full time, I was able to just have (my wife) go home and take care of the kids,” Mitchell said.
Forty years in, something that stands consistent with Litchfield Park Pool Service is the theme of family.
Mitchell said there was reliance on family when a need emerged for people to keep things going.
“I hired my sister, and she ran the books and pretty much the first store I opened,” Mitchell said.
“Her husband had signed a contract with the Cincinnati Reds, so he didn’t have anything to do in the winter, and he helped me out a lot for about five years.”
But early on, things were different.
When Litchfield Park Pool Service was established in the West Valley, it tended to around 250 pools on a consistent basis. Today, the business tends to around 550, according to Mitchell.
And beyond his customer base, Mitchell prides himself on his large inventory.
“We have people come in from Ahwatukee and Scottsdale because we have parts they can’t find in other places,” Mitchell said. “I’m always frustrated when people come in here, and we don’t have what they need.”
For Mitchell, business is steady and consistent, so there is no sign of Litchfield Park Pool Service going anywhere.
“We just want to provide the best service and have the best inventory for people who come in and need things,” Mitchell said.