A NEW HOPE
Meet Tommy Goulla, owner of Ogden’s Cleaners in Pacific Palisades, Calif., and now The Cleaning Baron in Marina Del Rey, Calif.
Q. “We’re in a new year and a new decade, what’s new for your drycleaning operation?”
A. “I have just acquired a new dry cleaners in Marina Del Rey called The Cleaning Baron which emphasizes high-end drycleaning, laundry and tailoring services, open seven days a week,” Goulla says.
“The acquisition took about six months to complete. I am very excited to bring to Marina Del Rey what I have been providing in Pacific Palisades,” relates Goulla.
“There’s been lots of changes in the last decade in our industry. Some areas have seen a significant drop in sales due to the fact that more and more clothing manufacturers are making washable garments,” he notes. “Fortunately,” he continues, “We are located in a high-end area and this has not affected us as much.
“Another big change is the cost of labor here in Los Angeles and finding good employees,” Goulla says. “I have put more focus on quality control and customer service so I can better justify my increases in pricing.”
Q. “How long have you been planning to expand?”
A. “Getting a new store had been a plan of mine for some time,” he explains. “I was just waiting for the right timing and to find the perfect location. The Cleaning Baron was a perfect candidate due to its location and size, as Marina Del Rey is growing at a very fast pace.”
Q. “One way to measure the health of a business is growth of a brand; how healthy will your brand be in Year 2020?”
A. “Our brand, I can say, has been growing in healthy levels because I have put lots of emphasis on customer service and quality.
“In my opinion the dry cleaners who sell themselves on price-only will eventually fail as our industry needs more than just price as a selling point. I also believe that to be healthy you must take steps to be environmentally friendly,” Goulla points out.
Q. “Can you share a tip with other owners about how to make time to dream, plan, and launch that vital growth in the Year 2020?”
A. “My advice to other owners is find out who their clientele is and what they want and build based upon that,” he suggests, and adds: “Every store has been built on a different foundation and in my opinion finding out what your customers want and trying your best to providing that is key to every store.”
Goulla shares this final thought: “The best ideas pop up in my head when I am driving. Later I try to make notes to see what that idea can do for me. Believe it or not lots of amazing ideas were made into reality that way!”
Check back Thursday for the conclusion.