Time certainly does fly.
It’s hard to believe that the Coin Laundry Association first launched its monthly magazine 30 years ago! At the time, I had the privilege of being the CLA’s Chairman of the Board. And, as I recall, it was a much different environment in those days.
Back then, the CLA didn’t have an effective way to reach, inform and educate the entire industry of laundry owners. In 1990, there was just one trade magazine serving this billion-dollar industry – and, quite honestly, I didn’t feel that was adequate to serve the needs of the association, its members or, most importantly, the vended laundry industry as a whole. Fortunately, my fellow Board members and a sizable majority of the CLA membership agreed.
Sensing the need for another stronger media outlet, I grabbed the torch, along with then Chairman-Elect George Pistona and many of the other Board members at that time, and we raced toward the goal of becoming “publishers” and unveiling that first issue of what would be known for the first 20 years of its life as The Journal of Coin Laundry and Drycleaning, or just simply The Journal.
The CLA membership eagerly welcomed this new addition to the association’s arsenal, benefitting greatly from the many articles, which covered all industry-related topics and were written by the leading experts within the business. This sharing of knowledge has been invaluable and has contributed to the overwhelming success of our industry’s operators.
In addition, we were blessed with the support of nearly all of the industry’s manufacturers, distributors and suppliers, who graciously and generously contributed so many advertisements to our pages, which no doubt are the lifeblood of any publication.
On the back page of that inaugural issue – which coincidentally has become quite a popular page now reserved each month for my long-time friend in the business, Wally Makowsky – I made a promise to the laundromat industry. I wrote:
On a regular and consistent basis, The Journal will afford you the opportunity to stay abreast of coin laundry and drycleaning legislation and regulatory matters, practical business practices, advertising and marketing ideas, profit-building innovations, cost-cutting techniques, statistical insights for better decision making, industry personalities, activities and upcoming events, as well as time-tested procedures that can save you time, work and money.
We promise you, our readers, loyalty, dedication and hard work that is inspired and motivated by a true interest coming from within our industry. The Journal will attempt to cut through marketing hype to provide you with objective, productive evaluations and will keep you up to date with the latest technologies. It will report on trends, techniques and information that will help keep all of us on the cutting edge of our industry.
I’m happy and proud to say that this publication – since renamed PlanetLaundry – continues to help me keep that promise I made exactly three decades ago.
With the current COVID-19 pandemic, laundromat owners and all small-business operators are facing unprecedented challenges to their livelihoods. And, once again, PlanetLaundry has been on the frontlines, serving its readers and sharing the best practices for coping and continuing to thrive from the leading businesspeople in this industry
I not only offer an enthusiastic “Happy Anniversary,” but also my deepest thanks to all who have supported this publication through the years. I’d especially like to recognize CLA President and CEO Brian Wallace, who has been there from the beginning and whose enthusiastic support and contributions have played a major role in its success. Also, a huge thank you goes out to PlanetLaundry’s selfless contributors and supportive advertisers. Lastly, to the wonderful CLA staff that continues to make all of us proud each month by providing one successful issue after another, thank you very much.
Here’s to another 30 years!