It’s a good time to be known in Nashville. The city has become an amalgamation of everything cool, while remaining true to its country roots. Over the past few years, Nashville has struck an incredible balance between the old and the new, melding its Bible Belt modesty with hipster modernity, and holding steadfast to tradition while embracing the enviable evolution. People across the nation have taken note; last summer, men’s magazine GQ dubbed the city “Nowville.” 

“Nashville’s the ‘it’ city right now,” Stewart says. “It’s pretty cool.”

Besides securing contracts in Nashville’s up-and-coming spaces, such as with several tenants of the Cummins Station — a mixed-use development crafted out of a neglected railroad shipping station — Stewart has contracts with two of the city’s most revered and “sacred” institutions: The Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry. 

The Ryman, also known as the “Mother Church of Country Music,” (complete with pew seating) was built in 1892 and is most famous for birthing modern country music and hosting the Grand Ole Opry, a live radio broadcast, for more than 30 years. Some of the theater’s most notable performers include Minnie Pearl, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton, as well as pretty much every other big country star to date. 

In 1974, the owners of the Opry opened a separate theater for the show.  A circle of wood was cut out of the Ryman stage and placed in the stage at the Grand Ole Opry. A partnership between the historical venues exists today: The radio show is still broadcast from the Ryman during the winter months. 

Stewart has been cleaning the Opry since 2000, after a chance meeting with Senior Operations Manager Mac Smith, in a carpet cleaning class. Stewart’s wife, Sarita, urged him to call, but he thought the theater was out of his league. 

“I kept saying ‘No, Mac said [the Opry] has an in-house cleaning staff,” says Stewart. He hesitantly placed the call and was floored when Major was selected for post-event cleaning.  

“We depend on Robert; I’ve called him up on a Monday, to come in the next day,” says Smith, who has overseen Opry House facilities and operations for nearly 40 years. “I haven’t been able to get rid of Robert since.” 

While the theater still has an in-house team, Major Commercial Cleaning is responsible for cleaning up after all shows and events. The shift doesn’t start for Major’s cleaning technicians until after 10 p.m. and can run until the early hours of the morning. 



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