Author: Luke Botsolis, BSU student
Everyone needs clean clothes. In a fast-paced, business-oriented world, there is a need for professionally cleaned and tailored clothes, yet many professionals lack the time to run back and forth to a dry-cleaner multiple times a week. This is where Tom Fay and his business The Cleanist bridge the divide.
Tom has over 30 years in the dry-cleaning business, which started with Danny’s Cleaners in Braintree and Quincy. Tom helped run these stores as a family business with his father and his brother. Currently, both Danny’s Cleaners and The Cleanist are operated by Tom Fay.
The Cleanist got its start as a tailor shop in 1925 in Plymouth founded by Amedeo Ceccarelli. Soon after, Amedeo’s son also joined in the business and they added in full dry-cleaning service. As this clearly began as a family business, it was taken over by Amedeo’s grandson, Paul, who began a Uniform Rental Service and moved the business to its current location in the Old North Plymouth Theatre building. Between 1982 and 2006 the business expanded to five locations in Plymouth, Kingston, and Duxbury. In 2013 entrepreneur Thomas Fay purchased The Cleanist from Paul Ceccarelli. The uniform rental business was sold separately in 1994 to Aramark. Under Tom’s ownership the business has prospered and remained successful.
It has been almost 100 years since The Cleanist was founded, and seven years since Tom acquired the business. Running a business in the 21st century comes with distinct benefits and drawbacks, which Tom has managed successfully.
The two most significant challenges in operating The Cleanist are staffing costs and expenses. As the business grows it is important to balance rising costs and customer retention while keeping a watchful eye on profit margin. Two of the reasons The Cleanist remains successful and should be considered superior to its competitors are because of their superior quality and excellent customer service. A huge part of the reason The Cleanist remains superior is that they offer home pickup and delivery of dry-cleaned clothes, free of any additional charge. This solves the major issue of professionals who want to look their best but may be too busy to take time out of their day to go back and forth to a dry cleaner.
Although successful, The Cleanist is always searching for ways to attract new customers and increase their business. The Cleanist takes advantage of two major marketing tools in order to reach a broad audience. The Cleanist regularly mails out advertisements and fliers that contain offers and information about their services. This allows The Cleanist to reach out to almost every household in the area that they serve. Another interesting tool is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO allows The Cleanist to appear as a top search result on internet search engines when someone searches for dry cleaners. This is a massive benefit to any business as it draws more hits to websites and an increase in the customer base. The internet and technology are extremely important to anyone operating a business in the 21st century, and Tom has taken full advantage of the tools available to him.
In the short term, Tom would like to see a 10% increase in sales through The Cleanist. For the business to remain successful and increase its success, it will require Tom’s personal attention. Tom is a very hands-on owner and it is common to see him at any one of the store’s several locations speaking with staff and customers. As mentioned previously, Tom started in the dry-cleaning business with his family, and that tradition carries on today as his wife and children also help out in various ways in his stores. For now, Tom will stay involved in the decision making and everyday operations of his company. When and if the time comes for Tom to take a step back, he will have planned an exit strategy that will leave the business running smoothly.
For customers seeking professional and reliable dry-cleaning services, The Cleanist offers competitive prices and superior quality, along with dry cleaning pick-up at no additional charge. Visit The Cleanist at one of the following locations: