While keeping busy may have been Doug’s initial incentive for buying the coin-operated laundries, being too busy is what’s led him to decide to scale back. A for sale sign has been posted in the front window of the Elwood location since June, prompting a few bites, he says, but nothing that’s translated into a sale … yet. But, as he pointed out, until someone new takes over the business, he will keep it open.
Along with running the day-to-day business aspects of the laundries, Doug takes care of all his own maintenance. After working in skilled trades for 41 years, handling the mechanical repairs on the washers and dryers comes natural to him.
“It started several years ago,” he said. “When I had something go wrong with a washer, I’d completely rebuild it. So, all of the equipment, although not new, it’s like new. And,” he added, “it’s all paid for.”
The coin-op laundries aren’t Doug’s first entrepreneurial ventures into a service-oriented business. A few years ago, he owned and operated two motels in Anderson.
“I guess you do what you enjoy,” he said, “and I’ve always liked owning my own business. But…” he stressed, “it’s not about the money. I enjoy giving, and I enjoy dealing with the people.”
Doug has met many good people over the years, he says. In fact, he recalls that just last week, a woman came in and told him how much she appreciated his well-run, well-kept laundry.
“I’ve had a lot of comments like that,” he said. “Little things like that have made the business enjoyable.”
Claiming the coin-op businesses also have served to “keep me off the street,” he laughs, and then pins the decision to scale back on his wife of 50 years, Sue.
“I’m not in a big hurry to sell,” he said. “It’s just that I’m going to be 73, and my wife thinks it’s time for me to start smelling the roses.”
Doug says anyone interested in starting a new cycle of their own by buying a stable, well-maintained coin-op laundry business is welcome to call him at 623-1125 or sent an email to email@example.com, or to phone his Realtor, Dave Allen, at RE/Max Ability Plus, (317) 370-6893.
Goforth Laundry, located at 1354 South B Street, Elwood. It is open 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. daily.