DENVER — Katzson Brothers Inc., which specializes in the distribution of drycleaning and laundry chemicals and supplies, janitorial supplies and hospitality supplies as well as drycleaning and laundry equipment, celebrates its 80th anniversary this month, the company reports.
Katzson Brothers caters to dry cleaners, laundries, hotels, motels, hospitals and related businesses throughout the Rocky Mountain West, offering an inventory of more than 30,000 products from warehouses in Denver, Salt Lake City, and Albuquerque, N.M.
Sidney Katzson founded the company in December 1935, financing it with $50 in savings and a $150 loan that served as down payment on a used car from which he distributed supplies to tailors in Denver. He carried his entire inventory in the car and sold shop to shop.
His younger brother, Seymour, joined the firm in 1937, and the two moved into a 12-foot-by-30-foot Denver storefront on Washington Street. The senior Katzson was quoted as saying, “The building was so small that we had to move half the inventory out onto the sidewalk when we opened up in the mornings.”
The infant enterprise remained relatively small until after World War II when Seymour returned from four years of overseas military service.
The business grew quickly over the next few years, requiring a warehouse on Vallejo Street from which Katzson Brothers expanded into distribution of drycleaning and laundry equipment plus soaps, chemicals and other supplies.
By 1962, again in need of a larger facility, the brothers built a new warehouse at its present site, 960 Vallejo St. There were additions in 1966 and 1977. In 1985, the company expanded into the hospitality industry, offering hotel, motel and janitorial supplies.
In 1986, the Katzsons asked Richard Right, a Denver-area attorney and Seymour’s son-in-law, to join them. Since that time, Katzson Brothers has expanded into 10 states and added the Salt Lake City and Albuquerque warehouses.
With more than 75 employees, 13 regional sales representatives and a fleet of trucks for direct delivery to customers, Right says he is proud of the company’s growth. “We provide our customers with the service and attention they demand, and the respect and professionalism they deserve.”
Although Sidney Katzson died last September at the age of 100, Seymour Katzson is still offering his advice from a lifetime now spanning 95 years. “I tell Richard every day to listen to his customers … they know what they want, and it is our job to make sure they get it.”