Having all three of their laundromats named on Evening Magazine’s “2014’s Best of Western Washington” was cause for celebration for a family that loves working together. Monroe Laundry came in #1, Snohomish Laundry, #4 and Tolt Laundry, #11— definitely a high-five. Brothers Tod and Jay Johnson, along with Tod’s son, Scott and daughter, BJ, bring years of business experience to running Monroe Laundry Company and its nearby, sister store, Snohomish Laundry Company. In 2007, following 35 years in the large-facility construction business, Tod decided to add his first coin-op laundry venture, Tolt Laundry, to a storage facility he owned. Seeing its success and service to the community, in 2009, brother Jay contributed his 25-year marketing and consumer service expertise and they opened Monroe Laundry Company. Of course, the fact that the 3,000 sq. ft. masonry structure was built in 1908 in historic downtown Monroe…hmmm, put that professional experience to work Johnsons.
Research and Renovation
Ancient building—but the site had 100 parking spaces—a big plus. Tod visualized customers being able to easily carry laundry to their cars and he knew buildings, so modernizing was a challenge, but doable. Using their engineering, construction and marketing know-how, the brothers spent two years researching three key factors for laundry equipment brands: least-serviced, which sold the smallest amount of used equipment, and which had the heaviest, most rugged structure. When Dexter equipment came in first in all three categories, the brothers contacted Western State Design’s (WSD) Rick Magnuson and Rick Hall.
Bringing Your Best
The Johnson family worked with Magnuson and Hall, who they personally describe as “great resources”, to design and equip the laundry. They installed 33 Dexter Express Washers (20 lb. to 55 lb.) and 30 Dexter Dryers (30 lb. to 80 lb.). Dexter’s high-tech, coin-op laundry equipment, among the fastest and most efficient in the industry, washes customers’ clothes in far less time, allowing them to get back to busy work and family lives. The Dexter Express line uses less gas and electricity, lowering owners’ expenses. Its Express Washers boast a powerful 200g extraction force, so laundry retains less water and dries faster, a saving that is passed on to clients and the environment.
Feeling Good, Moving Forward
Getting to share the family’s success as a team (BJ now manages the operations and staff), has been a joy. They’ve watched their coin-op laundry businesses grow daily, and are much appreciated by the local downtown community for bringing service to folks who hadn’t had a laundromat in five years. Monroe Laundry helped jump-start foot-traffic, encouraging new businesses to open in the historic area. And the Johnsons are on the move. They recently refurbished Snohomish Laundry, matching Monroe’s outstanding services and amenities: wash ‘n fold drop-off/pick-up service, one-hour turnaround time, granite-top folding tables, padded chairs, new bill changers, card-operated laundry, restrooms, snack/drink vending machines, Kids Kozy Korner, Wi-Fi, flat screen TVs (with rotating customer instructions) and caring, friendly service. And the Johnsons know they are creating a family future. Hey, the Dexter equipment will last for 30+ years—another generation will have to make sure it’s well-maintained and sparkling clean for customers. Maintaining your place on Western Washington’s top ten is just part of the job.