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Plant Design Awards—Outstanding Strip Location: Swan Cleaners

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Once a tenant in this Columbus shopping center in the 1970s and ’80s, Swan Cleaners left when the retail site declined in the 1990s. The shopping center was ‘reborn’ under new management, says Swan Cleaners President and Owner Paul Gelpi, and he was the first tenant to sign up and return to the location. (Photo: Swan Cleaners)

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Dry cleaning and pressing, as well as bulk laundry services, are performed on-site, while shirt laundry, alterations, shoe repair, suede/leather cleaning, and fur cleaning/storage is performed off-site. (Photo: Swan Cleaners)

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A look inside Swan Cleaners’ production area. (Photo: Swan Cleaners)

Bruce Beggs |

COLUMBUS, Ohio — This American Drycleaner Plant Design Award acknowledges a homecoming of sorts. Swan Cleaners was a tenant in a Columbus shopping center in the 1970s and ’80s but left when the retail site declined in the 1990s. “With new ownership, the center has been ‘reborn’ and we were the first tenant to sign up to return,” says Swan Cleaners President/Owner Paul Gelpi.

The 1,100-square-foot store features dedicated parking at the front door, drive-thru in-car service, a 24-hour drop box, and same-day dry cleaning until noon Monday through Saturday.

Dry cleaning and pressing as well as bulk laundry services are performed on-site. Services offered here but performed off-site include shirt laundry, alterations, shoe repair, suede/leather cleaning, and fur cleaning/storage.

The production area includes a Union drycleaning machine, Forenta pressing equipment and spotting board, White conveyor, Sears laundry equipment, Rema Dri-Vac vacuum, AquaCool cooling, and a ThermoSteam boiler.

This Swan Cleaners location, one of 20 plants and five dry stores, employs three FTEs and generates $4,500 in weekly sales, according to Gelpi.

Gelpi designed the plant layout. Gary Acker was architect, and Phil Davis oversaw interior design. E.J. Thomas Co. was the project’s equipment distributor.

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.

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