BRONX, N.Y. — Ernest Winzer Cleaners has been around since 1908, celebrating 110 years. “We are a fourth-generation business and third in our family,” notes Bruce Barish, owner with wife Sarah.
Despite the fact that Winzer Cleaners and General Motors were founded in the same year, 1908, their website writes, “for the first ten years of our existence, we made our deliveries the old-fashioned way — by horse drawn carriage.”
In honor of Winzer’s early support of the innovations of the American automotive industry, Barish says: “We’ve recently undertaken the restoration of a 1930 Chevy panel truck that we were able to locate on eBay similar to the one in an old photo. While we have no plans to actually make pick ups and deliveries in it, we do plan to put it on display in our Bronx facility.”
Barish notes he has worked for his family business since he was seven years old and he has been full-time since 1986. “I took over ownership in 2000. Our largest clients are the Broadway theatres. My wife, Sarah Barish joined the Winzer Team in 2005,” he relates.
“Presently we have a staff of 20. The majority of our staff have been with us for many many years. Our drivers have been with us for 20 years and one particular gentleman from our leather staff has been with us for over 40 years,” he says.
Barish continues: “One of our ‘personal touches’ is that Sarah and I personally keep in contact with our customers and their needs, as well as being in the mix with our employees on a daily basis. Sarah and myself also physically see and inspect every garment that comes in.”
Our drivers work a full day during the day and also work four nights a week to pick up the Broadway shows, as we have to get all of the costumes and wardrobe back to the theatres the following afternoon.
“Ernest Winzer Cleaners is known for our commitment to Broadway for our services, hence picking up and delivering through snow storms and hurricanes,” he points out.
“During the Super Bowl in New York, Times Square was shut down all week. We had to coordinate police escorts in and out of the area in order to service our clients and Broadway. This enabled my employees work to produce as opposed to not working the whole week.”
Whether it be a heat wave or a snow storm or even a holiday, he notes, there is never a question from our clients on Broadway if Winzer is working. They depend on us and we show up.
“At Winzer Cleaners we all believe that the show must always go on,” says Barish.