Editor's Note: 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 vended laundry, American Coin-Op created this Portraits of Success feature to spotlight memorable projects of recent vintage.
And so equipment manufacturers and distributors were invited to tout their latest and greatest coin laundry projects. Here is one of the stories they shared:
VIDALIA, Ga. — With the compounding frustrations over insurance policies and regulations that came with owning and operating several pharmacies, Trent Akins decided to join the vended laundry industry, investing in and building his own Laundromat, Spot-On Laundry, in rural Vidalia.
Akins wanted a business venture that didn’t entail 24/7, hands-on management, and required fewer hoops to jump through than his pharmacy business. He also wanted to make sure that whatever business he invested in fulfilled a need in his community, and Akins wanted to create a Laundromat with an environment that felt safe and welcoming to everyone in the area.
Equipment manufacturer Huebsch and local distributor Gulf States Laundry Machinery collaborated to share their laundry expertise and helped to ensure that Akins was confident throughout the development process and set up for success with his laundry business. Huebsch Financial assisted with project financing.
The 2,500-square-foot store is a stand-alone structure, next to a strip mall but not connected to it. It was built specifically to house Akins’ Laundromat.
Akins worked with Huebsch and Gulf States to design the store, as he had a specific image in mind that would resonate with his rural surroundings and target audience.
The manufacturer and distributor helped Akins decide on internal features and the proper equipment mix to maximize revenue in the space available. Both companies continue to support him in the operation of his business and the maintenance of his equipment.
Construction on Spot-On Laundry began in December 2014, and Spot-On Laundry opened in April 2015.
The Laundromat features 30 washers and 31 dryers, with a total capacity of 2,375 pounds when full. Washers are available in capacities of 20, 30, 40, 60 and 80 pounds, and dryers are available in capacities of 30, 45 and 75 pounds.
Akins has experienced a “great return on investment,” Huebsch says. While he still manages three pharmacies, he enjoys the flexibility and steady incremental income that the Laundromat offers him. He manages the store remotely, and isn’t required to be on-site, even though his store is open to the public 24/7.
Huebsch reports that Spot-On Laundry has turned a profit the last two months. Overall, Akins finds satisfaction knowing that he was able to provide his community with a much-needed service and one that he believes is much appreciated, the manufacturer adds.