Built in 2012 from the ground up by entrepreneur Don Russell and his partner Steve Doherty, Main St Laundry has outpaced initial projections. Russell and Doherty worked with Jim Wright of Western State Design in the building and design of the coin laundry and the installation of Dexter Express washers and dryers. Today, they are already back at it working together on the expansion.
Twelve years ago Don Russell opened a car wash on Main St in Boardman, Oregon. Back then he considered opening a coin-op laundry but decided against it as this small town of 3,500 already had one. Several years ago the laundry closed and residents had to travel 25 miles to the nearest laundromat. Russell and Doherty revisited the idea and decided to move forward.
The partners joined the Coin Laundry Association (CLA) and used this resource to learn more about the business and equipment. They decided to purchase American made coin-op laundry machines and found two local distributors that offered equipment that met their requirements. After meeting with each distributor, Russell and Doherty decided to work with Jim Wright of Western State Design because, “They didn’t try to sell us the Taj Mahal when less was going to work,” said Russell. He also found the WSD team helpful in the decision making process and very upfront about the necessary equipment and lead times.
Being conscious of the environmental impact of a laundry and of their customers’ time, they chose the fast and energy efficient Dexter Express line of coin-op laundry equipment. Russell said the facilities are basic but the equipment is top of the line and many customers have remarked that it is the nicest coin laundry they have ever seen. The equipment turns a load of laundry in about an hour and he and his partner take turns completing the daily tasks each morning to make certain the shop starts each day clean, bright, safe and in working order. As he learned from operating the car wash, if he keeps the place clean and the equipment in good shape people are less likely to abuse it.
WSD provided Russell and his contractors with a layout drawing, utility schedule and shop drawings to aid in construction. Working with such an experienced company helped the overall process and when the contractors had questions about things like where to put the drain pits, WSD offered their expertise and worked with the team.
Living in a small town a couple hours away from Portland and the WSD service office, Russell has found a call to the office is often all that is necessary for him to trouble shoot occasional equipment issues. The installation technician even gave Russell his number and followed up by talking him through a couple minor adjustments after the initial setup was complete. Service is available but often a call yields a simple solution that Russell can handle himself.
When asked if he would do anything differently, Russell laments that he didn’t open this business 12 years ago when he first thought about it. Other than that, had he known how busy the laundry would be, he would have built a larger building. He’s currently working with Wright and WSD to expand the laundry by adding more machines, including a 90lb capacity washer from the Dexter Express line. Large capacity machines are definitely in demand. Russell is very pleased with the success of Main Street Laundry and the consistent business it brings in daily.
Dexter Coin-op laundry equipment is manufactured in the USA. This employee owned company has headquarters in Fairfield, Iowa and has been in the business for over 100 years. Learn more at www.dexter.com.
Read more at American Coin-Op: https://americancoinop.com/articles/main-street-laundry-enters-new-year-plans-expansion
For more information about purchasing, designing or equipping a coin laundry contact a laundry specialist today.