Service With A Smile At Scrubbles
Since 2002, Bill and Marie Cassidy have been running their successful laundromat, while making friends along the way.
The hand painted message stenciled above the door says it all: Enter As Guests, Leave As Friends.
Scrubbles Laundromat is tucked away at 142 Pine Street, adjacent to Petes-A-Place Pizza and directly across from Tapley Park. The business opened its doors in 2002, and owners, Marie and Bill Cassidy live right in the neighborhood.
So what makes this little place so special?
Upon entering the space, customers are greeted by a friendly smile, as Marie, who is almost always on site, sets about folding customer orders. It was important to the Cassidys to make their customers feel at home, as evidenced by the periwinkle painted walls, retro wash-room decor and vase of fresh flowers.
“Everybody knows everyone here, it’s nice,” Marie said. “A lot of the folks use their time here as a social time, and the customers themselves have become friends because they are here at the same times each week.”
According to Marie, husband Bill Cassidy, who grew up in Danvers, had begun to plan ahead for his retirement when he approached her about the possibility of starting their own family business. He had been with the Danvers Police Department since his days at Northeastern, and anticipated his time for retirement to come sooner than later. But, as Marie put it, “The retirement didn’t happen when he expected it to, he had the years, but not the age. But he still wanted to move forward and set something up so he’d have his foot in the door.”
As Cassidy began to explore his options, he found himself torn between two types of businesses: he wanted to open either a car wash or a laundromat. “I was like, what made you think of a laundromat,” Marie laughed.
She continued, “And on nice days, believe me, sometimes I wished it was a car wash, but in all honesty, if we had opened a car wash with this economy, we’d have probably closed by now. People always have to wash their clothes, fortunately for us.”
When Bill found the space available on Pine Street, he wasn’t sure it would be the best spot for a laundromat, so he did some homework. He contacted Maytag, and had an area survey performed to determine the data to support such a business at that location. Marie explained, “They determined, not only was this a good spot, this was a great area for a laundromat, so here we are!”
Marie and Bill have established a system, running the business as a true partnership. Since Bill needs to be at the police department before dawn, he opens the doors for his early bird customers who appreciate that he, too, is an early riser. With Marie taking over mid-morning to do pick-ups, deliveries and handle all of the wash,dry and fold orders for their regular customer base, their days run like clockwork.
When asked who uses the services at Scrubbles the most, Marie insists that her business runs the full demographic, from working singles to the seniors at senior housing, and she knows all of her regulars by name. “Actually, at this point, I know everyone’s clothes without them even telling me,” she laughed.
“The Wash, Dry & Fold is by far our most popular service, people really appreciate the convenience of droping off their laundry on their way to work, and picking up at the end of the day all finished. To them it’s a little treat worth the $20,” she said.
According to Marie, she also sees a lot of families coming back from vacation with loads of laundry that they just don’t want to spend all weekend catching up on. “It’s great because they can put three or four loads into different machines, and we have the big industrial sized ones here, and they can get it all done in a half hour.”
The best part of owning this type of business, for Marie, are the personal relationships she’s established with her customers. “I have several stops I make during the day to senior citizens who are thrilled they can trust someone to do their laundry, and are always so happy to see me,” she explained.
She continued, “Lots of times these people have had a knee or hip replacement surgery,and they find it difficult to do their own laundry for a while, but they want to keep their independence; and sometimes I might be the only person they see that day if they don’t have family close by, so I’ll stay and chat with them a little and may be a little longer getting back.”