BALTIMORE — Five stars—it’s a term reserved for the finest of restaurants.
It’s the rating synonymous with the most luxurious of hotels, and the phrase film critics use only for the Citizen Kanes of the silver screen. No doubt five stars is the ultimate measure of quality, the best of the best.
That was the driving force for John Pinnock in developing his Laundry City coin laundry business here.
“I wanted this to be a true five-star Laundromat,” Pinnock says.
And don’t try to sway him that the terms “five-star” and “Laundromat” historically have not been paired together. Pinnock knows the traditional view of laundries as dark and dingy was a major hurdle, but he wasn’t backing down from his charge.
“My goal was to change the mentality … to make this a place people want to come to and stay,” he says.
AN EARLY START
One could say Pinnock’s vision for the laundry started at an early age, or at least he understood the need the business is based on.
Attending a boarding school, it was incumbent upon students to look their best, and clean clothes were a major part of that.
“It was always important to have clean clothes. It was ingrained in me at a young age,” says Pinnock.
While the seeds of the business may have been planted at a young age, they didn’t fully take root until a couple years ago.
“I’ve always been fascinated with the laundry business,” he says, adding that what he found attractive is that it doesn’t come with the labor headaches most other ventures do.
“I’ve been in my own business for 30 years, and the biggest challenge is always labor.”
In planning his store, Pinnock knew he had to have the laundry equipment to deliver five-star results.
Growing up in Jamaica, he was quite familiar with the Electrolux brand.
But Pinnock performed his due diligence and had many in-depth conversations with current store owners about their experiences with Electrolux and distributor Laundrylux.
Machine quality and efficiency was a huge part of the equation. The other half was if the brand delivered on its service promise.
Pinnock was happy to find out that it did, saying, “They have a culture of customer service that puts me at ease.”
But the Electrolux brand brings much more to the table, according to Pinnock.
“The innovation, quality, and reliability are incredible. In addition to the text messaging [component], Electrolux washers have a unique feature called Automatic Water Savings that automatically adds the correct amount of water to match the load size. This saves me over 30% on water.”
Check back Tuesday for the conclusion!