SANTA MARIA, Calif. — A number of vended laundry projects are completed around the country each year, resulting in brand-new or rejuvenated stores primed and ready to serve customers.
As a way to celebrate the hard work that goes into designing, building and equipping a modern self-service laundry, American Coin-Op created a Spotlights on Success series to recognize memorable projects of recent vintage.
And so equipment manufacturers were invited to tout their brand’s latest and greatest vended laundry projects. This is one of the stories they shared:
The Neighborhood Laundry in Santa Maria, California, offers a unique spin on your typical Laundromat. With a friendly community atmosphere, a variety of laundry services and a 400-square-foot play area, the laundry checks all the boxes.
The store is owned by members of the Stewart family: Dave Sr., Dave Jr. and Donna. But this trio isn’t new to the industry—they started their foray into laundry a few years ago by opening Main Street Laundry in Santa Paula. With backgrounds in construction and engineering, respectively, Dave Sr. and Dave Jr. make a formidable father-son building and operating team.
The building that houses Neighborhood Laundry was originally built as a commercial laundry processing plant but had sat vacant for 25 years. Where others failed to see the potential, the Stewarts had a vision to bring it back to life.
They knew their project had to be well-thought-out so the store would stand out as unique in the competitive Santa Maria area. The Stewarts took their time planning the project and enlisted the advice of Western State Design salesman Michael Ambrose. He, in turn, called on colleague Bryan Maxwell and the senior management team at Dexter Laundry as the project took shape. Together, after a year and a half of planning and construction, the $2.1 million Neighborhood Laundry opened for business in fall 2018.
Today, the 3,600-square-foot store serves the local community with some special touches. In addition to self-service laundry, Neighborhood Laundry also offers wash-dry-fold and a fold-only service where attendants finish up laundry for self-service customers.
The store offers a large selection of Dexter Express washers and dryers, including 10 T-350 20-pound washers, 15 T-450 30-pound washers, six T-650 40-pound washers, six T-950 60-pound washers, six T-1450 90-pound washers, 14 T-50x2 50-pound stack dryers, 13 T-30x2 30-pound stack dryers and three T-80 Express 80-pound dryers. All are supported by the DexterLive network.
The real excitement can be found in the children’s play area. Located in a separate room behind glass, the area gives kids a place to climb, slide and have fun while parents can keep an eye on them.
The time and attention that the Stewarts put into building and operating Neighborhood Laundry has paid off. The store has been so successful that the Stewarts say they’re now in the planning stages for an expansion. Instead of leasing the other half of their building, they will be expanding to fill the entire 7,200 square feet. Their new expansion is estimated to be a $750,000 project and will be opening in 2020.
Check back Thursday for another Spotlights on Success story!