TH Port-A-John, LLC, LaJose PA

The account of this Pennsylvania service provider features impressive growth over the company’s first decade in business and the development of a team of experts supporting a business model. It extends to every corner of the region and every professional service in the industry. How did that happen? It’s the work of Anthony Hugill, a no-nonsense portable restroom rental and septic services business owner who has wrangled his business’s, his team’s, and his own potential into a thriving enterprise from the ground up in a short time. 

From residential to municipal customers, the company has increased its market share rapidly since its inception. Now, in 2024, three corporate acquisitions later, Hugill stands out in the industry among small business owners as an especially aggressive player. But there’s more to this fascinating figure in the upper eastern central US.

Tony Hugill’s Transition from Tradition

The story of Anthony Hugill is basically about guts. It’s about actually making the choice to turn from all you know and walk into an uncertain future in an entirely unfamiliar and outrageously expensive industry. It’s about a guy who grew up in the family business and struck out on his own to become a young entrepreneur who will ultimately build his own great family-oriented business. 

Anthony was born and raised in his family’s enormous trash collection company. His siblings, in adulthood, became settled in the family business. Anthony too worked in the company his parents ran for some years before he made his move to independent entrepreneurship in a different field. 

He explains, “My grandfather told me this great idea, that I should notice that wherever there’s a dumpster there’s a portable toilet. Anthony took this critical advice to heart and embarked on his new endeavor to build his own successful company. He has certainly already accomplished that at this point and now exceeds all more typical privately owned business sizes and models in the wastewater handling industry. 

Impressive Growth of THP in Pennsylvania

In his characteristically succinct manner, Tony summarily tells the story of the company’s success, “On February 8, 2007, we set up the first unit on a customer’s site. We started out with a small number of portable toilets and now have around 1,000 units. We have about 300 sink stations. 

Over the years, a lot of our growth has been by small additions of 50 units here and 100 there. We’ve grown the business and expanded our service area by acquiring other businesses. In 2013, we acquired Brawley Septic Services in Carrolltown. In 2017, we bought RAM Septic Services, in Falls Creek, and in 2018, we added Sweet Pea Potties in Mahaffey, Pennsylvania.

We haul a lot of wastewater. We have about 40 trucks running routinely for the natural gas industry. With all of our services combined, we currently have about 100 trucks.” THP operates from 3 locations, including its shop and headquarters in LaJose, Pennsylvania, and two branches, each with its own management.”

THP currently has about 12 people servicing portable toilets, a team of septic systems specialists, and 7 people working in the office, including scheduling coordinators and other management. Plus Tony, who is out in the field most of the day, running his company on the move.

We probably cover around a 200-250 mile radius. We follow the whole gas industry in the region, which includes multiple gas companies. TH Port-A-John has developed a widely diverse range of business customers over the years. That success is attributable to the Hugill leadership principle, “Our customers are our top priority every day. We’re focused on solutions to accommodate their needs in every situation.”

Hugill has expanded his company at this exciting rate through organic growth from service sales and through acquiring multiple other companies in the local industry. Those acquisitions include Brawley Septic Services and RAM Septic Services between 2013 and 2017 and Sweet Pea Potties in 2018. It’s an exhilarating story.

He launched his own business in 2008 and over the past 16 years has built his own brilliantly family-oriented company. Under Anthony’s leadership, his organization continues to thrive. Since 2008, the company has grown from zero to over 1000 units. The internal culture is the primary feature of the brand Anthony has cultivated. 

Family Oriented Business

This deep family priority commitment is demonstrated in Port-a-Johns management’s caring attitude toward its employees and their families. The result is a highly motivated and dedicated team that makes the most of the extensive service area and its array of rental service products to benefit the business’s customers. 

Around the office, TH Port-A-Johns is just THP. It stands for Tony Hugill Port-A-Johns. Tony and his team are focused on quality customer care and do not have time to stand on formalities. Marketing is a necessary evil. Asked how he got the amazing ariel shot of the shop, which dominates the homepage of his well-polished website, Tony says simply, “A drone guy.” 

To fairly represent what’s going on behind the scenes of this interesting service business, we do find a friendly, welcoming, sharp-witted, and rapidly responsive Tony Hugill who has surrounded himself with family in his business. In this close group are uncles and brothers and other people dear to each other, for a total of 80 employees. Tony says simply, ‘We’ve all been together for a long time.” 

His brother runs the shop, managing a team of 5 truck mechanics. With that sizable team of professionals, THP does all of its fleet maintenance and repairs in-house, including engine replacements. As Tony says, “Except a few things, or if we get behind, we’ll send it out.” 

We asked Tony Hugill how he maintains this close family team spirit through the years of hard work and challenges that define the industry. His answer was plainly about just consistently treating everyone well. He doesn’t orchestrate frequent employee relations activities. 

But, we did learn that the team has a more organic and genuine kind of fun working together. And, THG does have one of the best employee holiday parties we’ve heard about. The company rents out a whole restaurant and has a big Christmas party. They give out big bonuses, gifts, guns, and free vacations! 

Diversified Service Business

T.H. Port-a-John, LLC rents portable toilets and handwashing stations for both commercial and private use throughout western-central Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. The service offers long- and short-term rental options. THG has become the leading portable toilet rental resource in its market. Hugill offers all configurations, from basic porta-potty units to roomy handicap-accessible models. He provides designs for virtually any type of event or longer-term need. 

THP’s other major revenue channel is its septic services. The company provides tank pumping and maintenance to residential, commercial, and municipal customers throughout the large region. Tony’s primary marketing approach for this service line is merely emphasizing to his septic services customers that regular septic tank pumping and maintenance are truly vital to preserving the optimal functioning of a home’s, business’s, or neighborhood’s septic system. 

The THP website offers customers a unique, very convenient, and eye-opening table for determining the appropriate timelines for scheduling pumping and maintenance servicing on their septic systems. Is that a marketing tool, a customer support tool? Maybe both. In either case, it’s an asset to his customers, staff, and any visitor to the site who wants to come away better informed.

THP’s Reputation for Exceptional Quality and Value

It’s fair to say that Tony Hugill appears to have cultivated a well-rounded internal business culture with a close-knit staff of reliable long-time team members. The group is led to maintain a laser focus on the fine details that produce top-quality rental products, the best professional services, and the safest operations. He takes pride in offering competitive pricing and a consistently great customer experience with friendly, knowledgeable professionals.  

Some examples of the extras that the THP brand offers include upgraded toilet units with anti-slip flooring, maximum ventilation, and occupancy indicators (which are a bigger benefit to users than they may seem to the uninitiated). The company offers flushable units, foot-powered sinks, and ACA options. Further, every THP unit is delivered in immaculate condition after meticulous cleaning and rigid inspection. 

Marketing and Branding at THP

Tony does minimal marketing and active branding. The team has uniforms with the logo and he does use a couple of billboards. But, word-of-mouth from satisfied customers is the primary form of marketing for THP. There is no sales team; none is needed. He says simply, “We’re past the threshold of sales that allows us to operate this way. We may run some ads with various placements in the future, but we’re in a small town where everyone knows who you are. 

In addition to creating jobs for the community by maintaining a healthy business in central Pennsylvania, the THP owner further supports the community. For example, he also owns a cattle farm with 100 head of Highland stock, but he could barely be persuaded to mention it or that he and his helpers there butcher and donate the meat.

Hugill and Team Safety Commitment

Along with the family orientation of the business, at THP, safety appears to be the overarching theme of daily operations management messaging. All employees are held responsible for learning the latest safety policies, procedures, and techniques. It is understood as the most serious commitment of the company and its employees to protect themselves, each other, and the public they serve. THP is certified in 10-hour OSHA Training, CPR and First Aid, and PEC SafeLand USA Basic Training.

Advice for Industry Newcomers from Tony Hugill, TH Port-A-Johns, LaJose PA

Along with the company’s pristine clean restroom rental units, the THP staff under Hugill’s direction, deliver among the region’s best customer service. The helpful staff of industry professionals assist customers with planning restroom facilities for business and public events, family occasions, and construction projects. The septic services team identifies septic systems needs and delivers the most effective and efficient solutions. 

In every instance, the THP team maintains tight standards of safety and service quality. These accomplishments require significant investment in exemplary training, maintaining updated systems and equipment, industry knowledge, and much more. But, when asked what important advice he would offer new entrepreneurial entrants to the US market, Tony Hugill’s response goes much deeper:

“Foremost keep god in your life. You’ve got to have good morals and treat everybody fairly. The trick is, if you do that, you’ll get good employees. The key is the employees. Before customers, you’ve got to have good employees. You can’t waste your time, but you’ve got to treat everybody well.” 

For more information about T.H. Port-a-John, LLC, you can call (814) 277-6394, write, or visit

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