Our ingenuity and a commitment to doing what’s right have been central to our company since the beginning.
Richard “Dick” Farmer is credited with establishing the modern-day Cintas in 1968 — but the foundation of our fourth-generation family business was actually formed in 1929 by Dick’s grandparents, Doc and Amelia Farmer.
After the Great Depression closed the circus where they performed, Doc and Amelia saw an opportunity to collect used rags that local factories had thrown away, take them home to launder them, and then sell them back to businesses around Cincinnati. Not only did Doc and Amelia create a way to make ends meet for their family during tough times, they also developed our company’s deep-rooted sustainable business model that remains in place to this day.
In the early 1940s, Doc’s son Hershell took the company’s helm and started replacing the rags with shop towels, and it was during this time that Cintas fully converted to being a service company.
In 1959, Hershell passed management of the family’s business to his son Dick, whose long-term vision saw the company expanding into uniform rental. Dick was driven to grow the company, but more importantly he proved that reusing, recycling and cleaning uniforms in a more environmentally sustainable way could be hugely successful while still upholding our fundamental values of integrity and untiring customer service. That vision continues to inspire and guide us today.
Later, CEOs Bob Kohlhepp and Dick’s son Scott Farmer expanded our business lines into facility services, first aid and safety and fire protection. This deepened our company’s sustainable business model further, because the new products and services were based on reusing and reducing end-of-life products and decreasing the overall use of natural resources. Bob and Dick also introduced products and services to help our customers keep their own facilities, employees and customers cleaner, safer and healthier.