Throw Away Those Washboards! Laundry Time Will Lighten Your Laundry Load
How state-of-the art could a Laundromat be? Laundry Time, which opened recently at 137 Ocean Avenue (Route 88), Lakewood, N.J., brings its customers into a world of 48 modern front-loading stainless steel washing machines in a variety of sizes; 60 dryers, including six super large 80-pound pockets, and better conveniences than doing laundry at home or in the basement.
Those conveniences include six 60-inch LED televisions, free Wi-Fi, a detergent and fabric softener vending machine with a variety of sizes, a snack and soda machine, ample folding tables and laundry carts, comfortable seating, heating and air-conditioning, and two large restrooms that are ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) – accessible. The restrooms are designed with a “touchless” sink, soap dispenser, toilet and hand-dryer.
Instead of doing wash in the usual cramped laundry space, Laundry Time is spacious. It has high ceilings, white ceiling fans to keep air circulating, glass mosaic tiles in shades of blue and white that glisten in the sunlight, and gleaming rows of stainless steel washers and dryers.
“I spent two years doing research on how to create a Laundromat that would give customers a great experience. It’s airy, bright, and efficient; and it’s safe and secure,” said owner Abraham Shapiro, a Lakewood resident who is a realtor with ReMax on the Move and a paramedic with MONOC Mobile Health Services.
Built into the wall is a dollar-bill changer and two machines called the “X-Changer: Totally Automated Store.” These computerized machines allow customers to pay using credit cards, debit cards, or cash.
It also allows Shapiro to “micromanage” the Laundromat and offer various promotions, such as Seniors Day, Public Servant Appreciation Days, birthday bonuses, “Wash to Win” promotion, and a wide variety of other ongoing specials,” he said.
“The days of lugging around loose change, and putting 24 or 36 quarters in a washing machine are over,” he said. “That was crazy carrying around $8.00 worth of quarters for larger machines.”
He said he did a market analysis to ensure that the cost of doing laundry at Laundry Time is comparable to the other four or five Laundromats in the surrounding area. “We will be competitive and will also offer promotions,” he said.
Shapiro said the Laundry Time will be fully attended by employees who will “keep it meticulous and are available to assist customer needs, such as teaching the new card system, and how to operate the washers and dryers.” He said he will start with a total of five bi-lingual employees; and if needed, we will hire more employees to ensure the best customer experience. ”
Shapiro said he also may expand the business to include a “wash and fold service” or even a pickup and delivery service for blankets and comforters, and commercial accounts, such as linen services, nail salons, and restaurants.
Lakewood Committeeman Meir Lichtenstein said, “I know Abe to be a community-minded individual who volunteers his time as a paramedic. I’m particularly happy that he has chosen to invest his talent and resources into Lakewood.”
Harmony Bank, Jackson, N.J., financed the development of the project via a Small Business Administration (7a) Loan. “They were instrumental in helping turn my vision into a reality, and I would recommend them to entrepreneurs looking to open a small business.”
Laundry time is open seven days a week from 6:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m., with the last wash at 9:00 p.m.