Decades ago and a youth at the time, Jerry Martin would go to his after-school job at a neighborhood grocer – but not until he helped out at the family dry-cleaning business for an hour or so.
“I would have to come down here and press pants,” said Martin. “And I said I’d never work here.”
Never say never.
Martin recalls the past fondly now, as he celebrates the 60th anniversary of his family-owned and operated Greenacres Cleaners.
It’s been a strong and reliable business over the years with its many changes from management to environmental dry-cleaning regulations, and from updated equipment to the car styles in front of the Greenacres shopping center just west of Barker Road.
“Because of our usual customers and their loyalty to us is why we’re still here – even through these economic times,” said Jerry Martin Jr., who grew up in the business and has worked full-time for his father for the past three years. “We know (our customers) by name and they know us,” he added.
The company offers dry cleaning, laundering, pressing, mending, drapery cleaning and pleating, as well as delivery. To celebrate the anniversary and as a thank-you to the community, Greenacres Cleaners currently offers a special that commemorates the 1950s: $5 for five laundered shirts.
The late Lloyd and Elda Martin opened Greenacres Cleaners in 1951. Jerry Martin returned to the family business in 1971 and took over management in 1978, but not before working elsewhere, including a stint in Hawaii.
As shown in pride of ownership now, Jerry Martin says of his parents: “They both loved the community and would be happy to see that we are still family-owned and operated.”