Less than a month after Ken’s Dry Cleaning closed its doors, a new banner was thrown over the old sign and Linen Services Dry Cleaning was born.
Business owners Jodi and Mike Fassler opened the doors on Monday Aug. 20 at 470 NE Garden Valley Boulevard and are “finding their groove,” said Mike Fassler. The couple is leasing the space from the previous owners with the intent to purchase at some point in the near future.
“We’ve been able to retain a few employees and I am relying heavily on them,” Mike Fassler said. “They’ve been doing it for so long, they know all the tricks.”
The Fasslers, who also own a medical laundry business, knew they would be a good fit for running a dry cleaners.
“We are the only dry cleaners in town, so we hope people will be patient with us as we are learning the business,” Jodi Fassler said. “We haven’t ever done retail. It’s always been commercial.”
The commercial business began small when Mike Fassler took over for a friend in 2011 who was doing small loads for local doctors offices and hair salons. Within nine months, the business was processing over 3,500 pounds of clothes per day. Now, it washes about 6,000 pounds per day from businesses like CHI Mercy Medical Center to local hair salons.
“We didn’t want the business to stay closed for too long because this is the only dry cleaners in town,” Jodi Fassler said. “People need a place to go. We didn’t want them going out of town and wanted to keep the business local.”
Mike Fassler said he grew up in Roseburg, and Ken’s Dry Cleaners was open the entire time. He said there are customers who come in today who’ve been coming in as part of their routine for 40 years.
“I think for the next 10 years, people will still call it Ken’s,” Mike Fassler said. “I have to remind myself not to call it Ken’s.”
According to former owner Ken Glass, Ken’s was the last dry cleaners south of Eugene and north of Grants Pass.
Glass opened the business in 1956 with his wife, Jessie. They also owned other dry cleaning businesses in Eugene, Medford and Salem. Those businesses closed one by one, until the Roseburg location was all that was left.
“Like everything else, you run out of steam,” but eventually things become harder to sustain, Glass said. “(Most) don’t know what it’s like to be almost 90.”
According to Glass, the need for a dry cleaners has declined with the loosening of business dress codes, but Glass and the Fasslers still saw a need.
“I was wondering if it was a dying game,” Mike Fassler said. “We’re not going to be able to recruit any professional into the area if we say we can’t offer this service or that service.”
Both of the Fasslers said they want to first maintain and potentially improve on the standard set by the Glass family, but right now they need patience from their customers as they try to get up to speed while maintaining their standards.