ZIPS Dry Cleaning Cleans Two Millionth Garment at York County Store
January 16, 2014
More than two million garments have passed through the doors of ZIPS Dry Cleaners in Springettsbury Township since it opened in 2007.
That’s a lot of shirts, suit jackets, pants, and uniforms.
It also represents roughly $4 million in revenue, said Carlos Cadenas, owner of the local store and co-founder of the ZIPS franchise.
ZIPS dry cleans any article of clothing for $1.99.
Oh, and they also fix your broken buttons free of charge.
“The whole industry has problems with breaking buttons,” Cadenas said. “They don’t make them the way they used to.”
But it’s what the price doesn’t include that makes dry cleaning affordable to the average person, said Cadenas.
The 52-year-old — who splits his time between central Pennsylvania and Virginia, where he lives and owns another ZIPS franchise — has been in the dry cleaning business for more than 30 years.
“I can do everything with my eyes closed,” Cadenas said. “They call me the godfather of dry cleaning.”
Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, Cadenas knows deluxe service, which includes packaging cleaned shirts with tissue paper and shoulder shapers and stacking them in a fancy box or bag.
“All that stuff costs money,” Cadenas said. “We’d rather give the discount to our consumers. Give them quality. Give them service. Don’t give them the extra stuff they don’t need. It just ends up in the trash.”
Cadenas, originally from Guatemala, came to the United States as a child.
At the time, he spoke little English.
After high school, he put himself through a year of college and later went on to study computer operations and programming.
He wanted a job at the Pentagon, he said, but it wasn’t possible. At the time, he wasn’t a U.S. citizen.
Unable to find a job, he returned to Guatemala to work with computers and came back to the states years later where he found part-time work as a dry cleaner.
Part-time work turned to full time. The company was bought by a larger dry cleaning chain.
More than 17 years later, Cadenas was vice president of the parent company owning a part of that business.
He later went to work for Dry Clean Depot, the D.C. area’s original discount dry cleaner, and owned a Dry Clean Depot store.
In 2002, he and several Dry Clean Depot owners formed ZIPS.
Cadenas bought the York County store in September 2011. Recently, he has been searching for places to open stores in the Harrisburg market.
Meanwhile, his son-in-law, Diego Osorio, 28, of Manchester handles day-to-day operations at the York County location.
Osorio came to the United States from Guatemala at age 18 looking for better opportunities. He also did not speak English.
“The economy in Guatemala is bad,” he said. “You have a hard time finding a stable job.”
But, as he predicted, the Unites States came through for him.
He found work at ZIPS, where he met and fell in love with the owner’s daughter. He became a U.S. citizen last year.
His staff of 18 — a mix of native English and Spanish speakers — keep the shop open six days a week.
Rachael Garner, 37, of York has worked at ZIPS since January 2008.
In that time, she has seen it all, from bunny suits to frog costumes that just need a little freshening up.
“I like the people here,” she said. “I see them more than I see my own family.”
WHERE: 2440 Eastern Boulevard, Springettsbury Township
PRICES: Dry cleaning $1.99, laundry shirts $1.39, laundry pants $3.25, comforters $19.99, leather $34.99.