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Posted on Jun 27, 2016

Grocery store owner adds laundromat

Quincy Market owner Phil Blackburn has given busy families one more reason to head to the grocery store.
Blackburn opened a laundromat – and filled it with shiny, state-of-the-art equipment – six months ago in a small business development that’s only steps away from his grocery store. At 1,800 square feet, the Quincy Market Laundromat is not only the newest but also the largest laundromat in the city.
The venture into the laundry side of things is a new one for Blackburn, a longtime grocery man who started his management career in Quincy in 1978. Blackburn has owned Quincy Market for some eight years. The grocery store once had a laundromat adjacent to it (Blackburn did not own that laundromat) before it and the laundromat were destroyed in November 2009 in a devastating fire. Quincy Market was rebuilt and opened in March 2013. Blackburn chose not to include a laundromat in the new store.
However, with the new store up and running more than two years later, Blackburn looked out his front doors and saw a new opportunity. The space where the laundromat sits, once a floral shop many years ago, was then vacant.
Blackburn contacted the building’s owner, Jeff Martin of Wenatchee. Together they came up with a plan to renovate the building and give it new life.
On the renovation side, which took about five months, a hallway was taken down to open up the space and give it more room. The space then was cleaned up, with new tile, LED lighting and decorative steel wall panels added to give it an industrial but modern feel.
On the business side, Blackburn got to studying and talking to people. He even attended a professional conference to learn all that is new – and efficient – in the laundry business.
Opened at the beginning of this year, the laundromat has three sizes of washers. The stainless steel washers hold 20, 40 and 60 pounds of clothing. Joining the washers are stainless steel, gas stack dryers, along with larger 75-pound dryers for those big jobs. The laundromat also includes all the necessities to get the job done, from laundry soap dispensers to folding tables and laundry carts on wheels.
“We’ve had very few problems with (the laundromat),” Blackburn said of his new business, which is staffed by employees at Quincy Market. “Our biggest challenge is trying to keep it clean.”
Opened 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, the laundromat enhances the grocery store, Blackburn added. Some customers put a load or two of laundry in the washers and then walk next door to the grocery store to do their shopping, he said.
Because of the natural tie between the two businesses, Blackburn plans to do some crossing promoting between the grocery store and laundromat, offering free laundry tokens with grocery purchases.
“It’s just a win, win, win all the way around,” he said.

 

— By Jill FitzSimmons, editor@qvpr.com

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