By Carol Kinsley

Don-Lee Margin Corp., a full-service cleaning and maintenance company based in Seaford, is going all out for its 55th or Emerald Anniversary, even to the point of changing its logo color from blue to green to match the traditional gem for a 55th wedding anniversary. New green uniforms have been ordered for employees, and even the lighting will go green.

The celebration will kick off June 4 with a car, truck and bike show on the property at 25271 Figgs Road, just west of town, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors are invited into the retail store to see the diverse inventory of janitorial and office supplies offered. 

Shown are Don-Lee Margin Corporation owners Craig and Kim Dimes and Jack and Crystal Chambers with employees Courtney Norman and Butch Lord. Photos by Bernard Carr

The celebration will continue through the end of the year with discounts, events and sales to commemorate 55 years of business.

Don-Lee Margin was founded as a janitorial service in 1967 by Donald Dickerson and Leroy Tull, whose names were combined into Don-Lee. Combining the names of their wives, Margaret and Ginny, resulted in Margin.

The company was acquired in 1973 by Keith Dickerson, Donald’s son, who expanded the company’s services to include building maintenance, painting, sand blasting, local trucking and general labor. 

Currently Don-Lee Margin’s maintenance and janitorial departments handle general maintenance and janitorial services, furniture moving, general/contract labor, building maintenance and repairs, landscaping and property maintenance, sandblasting, bobcat services, bulk trash removal, home/property clean outs, sanitizing, fogging, power washing, gutter cleaning and many more services including, but not limited to, stripping, buffing and refinishing floors. General labor is provided for businesses as well as homeowners, from something as simple as changing a light bulb to remodeling the inside of a house.

In the late ’80s and early ’90s, Don-Lee Margin provided cleaning and maintenance at the DuPont plant in Seaford and at that time had nearly 400 employees.

When Keith passed away in 2010, his wife, Denise, kept the business running and expanded the realm of services. While she was president, Don-Lee Margin doubled in size.

The company weathered two “100-year” rainstorms which caused flooding and a lot of damage to the original business location. In 2006, 13 inches of rain turned nearby Chapel Creek into a raging river with a 6-foot wall of water that cleaned out the building and washed large trucks into the nearby woods. There was nothing left. 

After a second flood in September 2011, the business was moved twice, but in 2017, returned to the original location on Figgs Road.

In 2007, Jack Chambers, a Seaford native, was hired as a supervisor. His first task was to find a secretary, so he suggested his wife, Crystal. Jack became vice president and in June 2021, after a brief absence, he and his business partner, Craig Dimes, purchased the company.

Jack brought in Butch Lord, Crystal’s brother-in-law, as director of operations. “Butch brings a lot of experience in managing employees and customer service. He is an intricate part of the day-to-day operations and aids anywhere needed throughout the building and business,” Jack said.

Crystal now handles accounts payable and receivable as well as human resources. “I’m Jack’s left-hand where Butch is his right.”

She added, “Courtney Norman, who has been with DLM for almost four years, heads up the retail sales 

department and manages our warehouse. She is hands-on daily with our customers and front office. This department is rapidly growing with her leadership.”

Janitorial and paper supplies are stocked and ready to be purchased in the current retail store. There are hundreds of products in stock to choose from and the store is available to residential and business customers alike. Don-Lee Margin is the biggest K-Cup dealer in Delaware with more than 150 flavors to choose from. Customers can select an assortment of individual flavors or buy a whole box. 

Since the change in ownership, Don-Lee Margin has added a propane refueling station and become a Penske rental truck dealer. Propane tanks from 20 to 100 pounds can be purchased or exchanged during normal business hours, six days a week. Penske truck rentals are available to residential and commercial customers in a wide range of sizes from transit vans to 26-foot box trucks.

Jack Chambers Jr., now almost 19, is learning the business from the inside out, just as his parents did. His first role was portraying his father at a young age in a “back to the future” commercial. Jack Jr. is now actively involved in operations from warehousing and janitorial cleaning to front desk ordering.

Crystal added, “While our daughters help or work with us, too, it is important to us that our son learn all aspects of the business.”

Don-Lee Margin is also taking advantage of advances in technology. Crystal said, “By 2023 we will launch a new POS system. Our shipping and receiving will be all digital. Product will be scanned in and out and invoiced immediately. That makes transactions quicker and more efficient for our customers and us as a business, which is always our main goal. It will streamline everything customers use through us and it will save time and money.

“We hope by the second quarter to introduce an e-commerce site so customers can order directly from the web. This will fast track and streamline the processes of ordering, delivering, invoicing and returns for all retail sales. This system was built specifically for our company.”

Customers will still be able to come in and order from a catalogue of thousands of products, Crystal added. As through the COVID pandemic, customers can call ahead and have their order ready to pick up at the curb or pay ahead for home delivery.

If you have questions or are looking for something specific, call 302-629-7567 or email in**@do***********.com.

Don-Lee Margin is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. — until 6 p.m. on Wednesdays, and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

Fifty-five years ago, Don-Lee Margin began as a janitorial service, a service that continues today. Whether your need for any of the company’s many services is due to lack of time, energy or expertise, if you need someone to take care of maintenance on your property — business, residential or industrial — Don-Lee Margin Corp. of Seaford can do the job.

While the company has a regular crew for routine work, as Crystal said, “With our experience, network of friends and other business owners, if our employees are not able do a job that requires a special skill, certification or licensing, we know who to call. That ability alone gives us an edge up.”

As the slogan says, “Don-Lee Does That.” Find out what the company can do for you and what products and services are available, by visiting the website, www.don-leemargin.com. Information is also available on Facebook or Instagram.