Currently, there are about 35,000 coin laundries in the United States, generating nearly $5 billion in gross revenue annually. This 70-year old business concept is especially popular in the country’s inner cities, but very few laundromats are owned by African-American entrepreneurs.
But here are a few Black-owned laundromats in various cities across the country:
- Heavenly Washes Laundry Matt: Based in Winter Haven, Florida, CEO Shaterra Jordan came up with the business idea while sleeping in a dream when she was collecting unemployment from the field of her studies, nursing. She stepped out on faith with her 401K in hand and opened her first location in 2013. She opened her second location in 2015.
- Laundry Cafe: Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this Black-owned laundromat is the creative vision of two humble individuals who grew up in the inner city and share the commitment of providing an upscale laundry experience to their customers in under-served communities. They say that this allows them to reinvest in & uplift the communities they serve.
- Kimbark Laundry & Dry Cleaning: In 2007, after selling some South Side apartment buildings they co-owned, Fylynne Crawford & her husband Darryl were shopping for a new business venture in the Chicago, Illinois area. Through a broker, they learned that Kimbark Coin Laundry was for sale, and so they bought it. They have since added a drop-off laundry service, a dry-cleaning service, & a pick-up and delivery service.
A valuable Black history lesson
Although very few laundromats are Black-owned, according to MadameNoire.com, African-Americans have always been leaders in the industry. In fact, what is now called “dry cleaning” is actually a process that was patented in 1821 by a Black entrepreneur/tailor from New York City named Thomas Jennings.
Back then, however, it was called “dry scouring“. He reportedly was the first Black man to ever receive a patent, and even more, he used his profits to help free slaves and end slavery in the Northeast.
For details on how to start a coin-operated laundrymat, visit Entrepreneur.com