You are here

Brax Laundry Builds on Game-Changing Experience (Part 1)

The Sabo recipe for success includes far more than a dash of technology

OREGON CITY, Ore. — Each day, the laundromat business brings pretty predictable outcomes. Self-service customers come in with dirty laundry and leave with fresh, clean items — effectively and efficiently washed and dried. Wash-dry-fold clients get a premium experience, including the completion of that dreaded task of folding.

Owners see that flow play out in real time on their smartphones and computers, translating the everyday scenes into numbers, turns per day, cycle modifier percentages, and effectiveness of time-of-day pricing.

And then there’s Brax Laundry here in Oregon City.

Brad and Max Sabo (thus the name “Brax” Laundry) opened the Portland-area laundromat in 2022 and nothing has been as predicted. However, when you blow your projections out of the water pretty much since day one, unpredictable is just fine for these owners.


This duo was intent on making their laundromat truly different. So, the fact that offering customers an experience like no other in the market equates to amazing bottom-line numbers shouldn’t come as a surprise.

“Brad and I are all about customer service,” Max says. That focus starts the second you walk in the door; clean is just the beginning. This laundry brings a fresh smell that customers appreciate.

“We hear a lot that it smells clean in here…that it doesn’t smell like a laundromat.”

The game-changing recipe for success obviously included far more than a dash of technology. Speed Queen’s Quantum Touch control is helping wow customers with an intuitive touchscreen that takes the user experience to the next level, according to the Sabos.

But they drove things further in their spacious 3,750-square-foot laundry, adding Speed Queen Insights. While it’s easy to look at the system as more of an owner’s management tool, the pair say they saw that and much more.

“We’re able to fix problems immediately,” Max says of the customer-service benefits of remote monitoring and access to operations. “Just the ability to solve problems from home,” he adds of the huge time savings value Speed Queen Insights offers versus needing to drive to the store, should there be an equipment or customer issue that needs attention.

They also opted for clean machine fronts — no bulky, bolt-on card readers or coin drops here, which means no coin jams or payment snafus.

“This system allows us to get past all of that,” Max says of the Speed Queen mobile app and payment center.

And lest you think it’s too soon for our industry to be app-driven, that customers of varying ages and backgrounds will be turned off by app-based payment, Brax, again, is presenting amazing numbers. Since opening, Brax is regularly at 90% app adoption, the owner say.

“I wasn’t sure how people would react to the app,” Max says, adding that its ease of use — from downloading to its usage — has been even more exciting.

“People who don’t speak English download it and use it every time,” he says. To encourage app adoption, Brax adds the first $20 on new accounts.


It’s an understatement to say that Brax Laundry’s 2022 opening was a long process. Three and a half years long, to be exact. Brad and Max had a plan, and it included an escape from the corporate world and owning their own business.

In 2018, they decided the vended laundry business was just the venture to check all the business ownership boxes. That was the easy part. The hard part was finding a location.

That search dragged on for the better part of a year. At last, they found one and over the next 15 months did much of the construction work themselves, even building their own bulkheads, which are creatively topped with artificial grass. 

However, when it came to the equipment, they went with Portland-based Speed Queen distributor Coin Meter Company. Their read of the company was solid from the start, the Sabos say.

“They weren’t in it just to sell equipment,” Max says of feeling like they had a true partner invested in their success, unlike other firms they met with. The fact that they were also a full-service distributor made a huge difference as well.

Check back Thursday for the conclusion…

Brax Laundry Builds on Game-Changing Experience

It took Max Sabo (left) and Brad Sabo some three and a half years to open their first Brax Laundry in Oregon City, Ore., but it was worth the wait. (Photos: Alliance Laundry Systems)

Brax Laundry Builds on Game-Changing Experience

Brax Laundry’s Oregon City location covers a spacious 3,750 square feet.

Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Bruce Beggs at [email protected].