A few years ago, Rita and Greg Ferrero were pondering ways to make a living as they transitioned from corporate careers to retirement. It was about this time that fellow laundry owners, Deborah and Jim Dower, asked Greg to help them collect when they were out of town. That sparked a conversation about the laundry business and how it could be a lucrative stepping stone to retirement. They decided to embark on a second career in the coin operated laundry business.
The Sacramento area couple each had long, successful careers as employees of large organizations. Rita worked in sales and sales management in the tech industry and Greg was a 28-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol, most recently serving as a captain and commander coordinating state Department of Homeland Security intelligence, until he retired a few years ago.
Three Laundromats in the Sacramento Area
Realizing a longstanding dream to partner in an entrepreneurial venture, the Ferreros bought their first laundromat in 2014 at 5412 Madison Avenue in the northeast outskirts of Sacramento adjacent to Carmichael and Foothill Farms. Six months later, they bought a second coin operated laundry at 7833 Madison Avenue in nearby Citrus Heights which they remodeled completely. They just completed construction of their third, brand new store in Cameron Park, not far from their home. All three coin ops are named Sierra Laundry.
Partnership with Western State Design
The Ferreros started working with WSD Laundry Specialist, Bryan Maxwell, during the renovation of their second store which was fairly run-down when they bought it, and included old, inefficient laundry equipment. Based on the recommendation of a friend in the business, the Ferreros sought out Maxwell to help them figure out what type, size and mix of new, modern commercial laundry equipment they should acquire to replace the old machines. They ended up installing a full complement of top-rated Dexter Laundry front-loading washers and state-of-the art dryers. They were so impressed with the equipment and the customer service they received from both Dexter and WSD, they say the decision to work with them again developing the third laundromat was a “no brainer”.
Brand New Store in Cameron Park
Rita and Greg decided to build their third store from the ground up in Cameron Park because there were no laundromats nearby. In fact, theirs is the only one in the 15-mile stretch between Folsom and Placerville. There had been a laundromat in the area about a half mile away from where they ended up building their store, though it had shut down years before. However, Rita and Greg didn’t like the location; they didn’t like the space; and they didn’t like the shopping center, so they decided to locate in the new shopping center in the area. It has, indeed, turned out to be a good location within a mile of where most customers seem to live. “Our customers say they’re really pleased to have a brand new laundromat right in the neighborhood,” said Greg.
The state-of-the-art commercial laundry equipment installed in the newest Sierra Laundry includes the following:
- (6) Dexter C-Series T-300 20# washers
- (6) Dexter C-Series T-600 40# washers
- (4) Dexter C-Series T-900 60# washers
- (2) Dexter C-Series T-1200 80# washers
- (7) Dexter T-30×2 30# Stack Dryers
- (4) Dexter T-50×2 50# Reversing Stack Dryers
- DexterLive Network
- Phoenix Water Heater
- American AC2225 Coin Changer
- Vendrite Soap Vendor
About those Dexter 50 lb. Stack Reversing Dryers
For their new store, the Ferreros chose the innovative Dexter T-50×2 Reversing Stack Dryers, only recently introduced onto the coin op laundry equipment market. Asked about their decision to purchase Reversing Dryers, Rita responded, “I approached the decision as a consumer based on my own experience putting bulky items like sheets in larger dryers: they get all tangled up and don’t dry evenly, requiring extra drying time.” “I wanted to offer something to our customers that I would enjoy using myself, “ she continued.
The Ferreros are proud to be among the earliest adopters of the Dexter Live technology having originally installed it their second coin op. They love it so much they also installed it in their new store. DexterLive is a cloud-based network that allows coin operators to monitor and control their laundry machines remotely—in real time. This technology not only gives the Ferreros the freedom to manage and troubleshoot their equipment from anywhere, responding to customer problems immediately, It also provides up-to-the-minute reporting of items such as machine usage which helps them manage their business more effectively. And, it’s easy to install and easy to use, according to them:
“I was pleasantly surprised – shocked actually – to see how easy it was to install Dexter Live in our new store,” exclaimed Greg. “I programmed 30 machines in 5-10 minutes,” he marveled. “And I have been amazed how well it works,” he continued. “It’s so user-friendly, my 12-year-old was able to help a customer restart a machine, using my ipad, while I was busy driving,” Rita added.
All’s Well that Ends Well
The Ferreros report that their customers seem pleased with their new store, particularly the modern, large capacity washers and dryers, and business continues to grow, as the word spreads. The Ferreros are really happy with their state-of-the-art laundry equipment that allows them to enjoy their semi-retirement life while running their business remotely.