JJ’s Laundry Depot has moved to a new location and is ramping up both its commercial and personal laundry services with a slew of high-tech washers, dryers and an enormous ironing machine.
Joanne Wannop said she and her staff love the new location.
“It’s sunny and bright and we have more room,” she said.
A few years ago, there was a fire in the building that at the time housed the Bong Kee Chinese food restaurant. The place was gutted and new infrastructure put in, making it the perfect location for the laundry depot.
“Insulation, wiring, everything was taken out of it,” she said. “It’s been totally redone from the basic frame up. Which is nice for us because it’s nice and new and sunny and bright… and clean. Clean is big in laundry.”
Wannop started the business four and a half years ago at the other location. She started off with a partner Judy (the other J in JJ’s Laundry), but soon after took over the business.
They moved from their original location a few weeks ago because of a need to expand.
“There’s no commercial laundry in the East Kootenay,” she said. “When I started off, it was just going to be a coin laundry, but six months later we were so busy with the drop-off stuff that I had to hire a couple people to help me. It was going to be my semi-retirement job.”
Now she has 17 staff members and the business runs almost 24 hours a day to get the laundry done.
Wannop has been a foster parent for over 25 years. She and her husband have owned various businesses over the years, at one time even the former Gold Creek Country Store. After selling that they moved to the Okanagan and ran an organic orchard while also fostering special-needs children.
“We have eight children and 14 grandchildren,” she said. “We have kids, step-kids and adopted kids. So I was used to doing a lot of laundry, and I thought, ‘What do I want to do now?'”
JJ’s Laundry offers two categories of services. The first is a personal laundry service, which includes washing, drying and folding clothes for people, as well as mending, pressing and a pick-up and drop-off service.
The second category is the commercial aspect.
“We pick up and deliver for the hotels for guest laundry,” she said. “We do that for most of the local hotels and motels.”
JJ’s Laundry uses different sizes of washers, from 12 or 14 pound washers, like the ones found in most homes, right up to 125 pound industrial washers that can accommodate huge loads.
She said the large washers are quite expensive and high-tech. The machines are automated and balanced.
“They are definitely state-of-the-art and very energy conscious,” she said, adding they use a lot less water than in the old days. “The laundry business is very much into green, because laundry uses a lot of water. We use all earth-friendly soaps and detergents.”
The washers spin at high revolutions which removes a lot of the water from the clothing even prior to drying or ironing. They have also just installed a brand new industrial ironer for sheets, which even requires a technician to run.
The business is located at 1633 Cranbrook Street North. Visit www.jjslaundrydepot.info for more information.