NEW BERN, N.C. — New Bern lies about 110 miles east of Raleigh and about 90 miles northeast of Wilmington. Named after the capital of Switzerland, it is the second oldest town in North Carolina and home to some 30,000 residents.
Within easy walking distance of the New Bern waterfront are more than 150 homes and buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, hotels, restaurants, banks, antiques stores and specialty shops.
New Bern is known for a couple of other important reasons: Not only is it the birthplace of Pepsi-Cola, it is also home to arguably one of the most technologically advanced and energy-efficient Laundromats in the country.
Owned and operated by Anna and Richard Blair, the Clean & Green Laundry is built entirely on a “green” platform. The entrepreneurs see the long-term growth and profit potential of the coin laundry business, and are committed to making sure that every aspect of their new business is environmentally friendly, minimizing use of energy and water, while providing their customers with the cleanest garments possible.
An example of their commitment to energy efficiency is a state-of-the-art geothermal unit with solar panels to heat the laundry’s water.
Energy Conscious Around the Clock
Before moving ahead with a plan for their vision of Green & Clean, the Blairs wanted to know what the community thought. They surveyed many local residents in an effort to learn what they would like to have in a new Laundromat. Overwhelmingly, customers stated their preference for an energy-conscious laundry, and since the town is active 24 hours a day due to around-the-clock manufacturing, distribution and retail operations, they wanted one that was safe to visit at late hours. To that end, Clean & Green boasts a sophisticated security system.
Since approximately 2,500 square feet of space was available, a floor plan was developed that gave an open feel with a design that welcomed customers. In addition to providing the self-service washing and drying equipment, Clean & Green offers fluff-and-fold options, too.
The Blairs carefully evaluated the various equipment choices available to them before deciding upon Maytag Commercial Laundry equipment. With more than 50 years of unparalleled industry experience and having one of the longest product warranties in the commercial laundry industry, Maytag offers a variety of energy-efficient washer and dryer models from which to choose.
Working closely with their Maytag distributor, Tri-State Technical Services, the Blairs sought the perfect balance of laundry equipment that would accomplish their green objective.
Clean & Green selected an assortment that includes high-efficiency top loaders, front loaders, rigid-mount front-load washers (30-, 40- and 60-pound capacities), multi-load stack dryers, and single-pocket dryers (50- and 70-pound capacities).
With this assortment of equipment, no matter what garments need to be cleaned—even bulky items—in virtually any quantity, customers’ needs are met quickly, efficiently and with the best cleaning value, the Blairs says.
Ease of use was one of the reasons they chose Maytag washers that feature one-touch cycle selection; an automatic detergent, softener and bleach dispenser; front controls; flexible wash options; and shorter drying times due to high-speed extraction.
The dryers sport commercial-duty door handles; stainless steel top, front and sides; and a solid die-cast door-locking assembly.
Besides the look of the equipment, Clean & Green also wanted to furnish the store to make the customer experience pleasant. Modern change machines make the purchase of laundry cycles quick and easy. The bulkheads and equipment bases are also state of the art, and the various carts and tables make the preparation of loads and post-cleaning separation and folding a comfortable task.
An inviting color scheme welcomes customers. While waiting for their garments, patrons can relax in an outdoor patio while their children enjoy a special play area. Free Wi-Fi, televisions and a complete vending area offering a variety of refreshments are available 24/7.
US Capital Corp., a specialist in commercial laundry equipment financing and the financing partner for Maytag Commercial Laundry, assisted Clean & Green in getting started.
Working closely with the Blairs, US Capital provided a custom financing program designed to maximize the couple’s return on investment over the term of the equipment finance period. In any new business enterprise, conserving cash is essential, and US Capital designed a financing package that did just that.
Not only did US Capital provide the financing for the Maytag equipment, the company also handled financing of the equipment’s installation and important required “soft costs” such as the change machines, carts, tables, bulkheads and equipment bases, as well as the geothermal water-heating unit.
Location, Location, Location
Clean & Green Laundry’s customers find getting to the business quick and easy. Located on the west side of New Bern, the Laundromat features two wide entrance-and-exit drives with a center turn lane for easy access.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is a major four-lane highway coming in and out of town, and drivers have an easy view of Clean & Green thanks to dedicated signage.
With more than 3,000 households and 3,000 renter-occupied households within a three-mile radius of the laundry, Clean & Green is positioned well for today and the future.