For the past 20-plus years, Soapy Joe’s has been serving the San Diego market, cleaning cars, building a community, and racking up the accolades.

Soapy Joe’s Car Wash is cornering the San Diego market.

The express chain has been voted San Diego’s Best Car Wash in San Diego Reader’s annual contest three years running and is hoping to defend its crown again this year when the results are announced this fall. The title is a sense of pride for the Joe’s team since it is voted on by the public.

“The award is meaningful to the team because it’s an external validation of all the hard work that they do on a daily basis,” says Joe’s VP of marketing Anne Mauler. “It’s a beautiful validation that the things we are doing to put ourselves out in the community are working in a very tangible way. It shows the love we’re putting into our product daily.”

Joe’s produces a quality product. You don’t corner the market in a major city with 23 sites and counting by not producing a clean, shiny, dry car every time. Anywhere you go in the greater San Diego market, you are not far from a Joe’s, and the team’s relentless community building over the years has made the Soapy Joe’s brand synonymous with car wash in San Diego County.

Employees are always on hand to engage with customers.

Soapy Joe’s is a vibrant member of the San Diego Community, hosting and attending neighborhood events, participating in and running charity fundraising, and finding unique ways to connect with the population at large. In fact, over the years, Soapy Joe’s has donated $2 million and 200,000 free car washes to community-based organizations.

“We are active on so many different levels in the community,” says Mauler. “Whether it is working with veterans, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, school fundraisers, Soapy Joe’s Day, or any number of local organizations, we are always looking to give back to the community that supports us.”

In addition to driving brand awareness through its philanthropic work, Joe’s gets the word out with innovative partnerships and marketing campaigns that keep the company top of mind. The wash is particularly fond of partnering with local sports, including the athletic program at San Diego State, minor league hockey’s San Diego Gulls, and the women’s professional soccer club, the San Diego Wave.

Each Soapy Joe’s location has at least two pay lanes.

Soapy Joe’s latest athletic partnership is its biggest yet. The wash announced earlier this year that it signed a contract with the San Diego Padres to be the Major League Baseball team’s official car wash.

“There is a reason why Soapy Joe’s was voted San Diego’s best car wash in 2023,” says Sergio del Prado, executive vice president of business affairs for the San Diego Padres. “Their commitment to our community and providing best-in-class customer experiences matches our values. We’re excited to name them our new official car wash partner and look forward to a long-term partnership with creative fan engagements.” 

The three-year agreement will see Soapy Joe’s at every Padres home game, promoting the brand and making connections with fans. The in-ballpark opportunities include free $20 Soapy Joe’s car washes, social media challenges, merchandise giveaways, and much more.  

“Becoming the official car wash partner of the Padres has been a dream of mine since I started Soapy Joe’s,” said Lorens Attisha, founder and CEO of Soapy Joe’s. “Serving our members and the community is what drives our team on a daily basis. The Soapy Joe’s and Padres partnership marks the next step in our path as a local-first brand.”

The Soapy Joe’s staff is committed to building
a meaningful relationship with the community.

In addition to the recently announced in-game engagements, Soapy Joe’s recently completed a two-month-long, Padres-inspired augmented reality campaign. The AR experience was an infinite runner-

style video game with the goal of collecting air fresheners through a baseball-themed “Soap-topia” environment. Everyone who tried the game received a $20 Magic Joe car wash and the opportunity to create up to four customized baseball cards featuring themselves and Tony Gwynn, Jr.

Being aligned with a major professional sports franchise is a golden opportunity for Soapy Joe’s to expand its reach and constantly connect with new potential customers, an opportunity the marketing team plans to take full advantage of.

The wash brings out all the stops for Soapy Joe’s Day.

“We’re ready to make the most of it,” Mauler says of the deal. “We are focused on first-party data and ensuring that we go from an awareness level into a known lead quickly with as few steps as possible. What sets our marketing efforts apart in terms of the large activations is including something like a scan-in, text-in, or contact us for a free wash. The goal is to get a prospect into our marketing funnel seamlessly.”

The end game, of course, is to get a new prospect to try one of Soapy Joe’s 23 express sites across the San Diego area. The cutting-edge sites feature all the modern bells and whistles, including multiple pay lanes, well-equipped tunnels, and plenty of free vacuum stalls.

Soapy Joe’s was founded in 2001 and slowly built its reputation and holdings over its first decade and a half, reaching 11 sites by 2018. At this point in the brand’s development, Attisha decided to take his creation to the next level and brought in a group of new high-powered executives with the goal of aggressive expansion.

Over the past six years, Soapy Joe’s has averaged two new sites a year and has an expansion roadmap that should see its holdings increase from 23 to close to 30 by the end of the year. While Joe’s has done its fair share of greenfield expansion, its current focus is acquiring and refurbishing existing sites.

The Commit to Your Car campaign is a fun,
tongue-in-cheek way to promote Joe’s unlimited wash programs.

“We have five sites in development currently,” says SVP of operations Isaac Lee. “We are still very much in the acquisition phase. Every time we open one, we have another one or two in the pipeline behind it. It’s an ongoing thing.”

Soapy Joe’s commitment to forging a meaningful relationship with the local community and providing a segment-leading product sets it apart from the competition and allows it to dominate the San Diego market.

“We feel like we are San Diego’s brand,” says Lee. “We are a big part of the local community, which has always been a focus of our company. We feel good about our position in the market and our ability to keep growing quickly to ensure that we remain San Diego’s car wash brand long-term.”

Soapy Joe’s is the official car wash of the San Diego Padres.