MANHATTAN BEACH – Twenty-six years ago, the Veera family set out to build a drycleaning business from scratch in Manhattan Beach. Since then Door-to-Door Valet Cleaners has grown and expanded to nine locations throughout Los Angeles County. In January, the company received an award for “Outstanding Plant On-Premises” from American Drycleaner Magazine for their recently completed a build out of a new production plant.
In 1989, the Veera family – father Yasin, mother Yasmim, and brothers Sajid and Habib – opened Door-to-Door Valet Cleaners in a 600 square foot (sf) space, or “half a store” says Sajid. The company has grown to nine stores with more than 45 employees throughout Los Angeles County.
Kevin Campbell, Executive Vice President of Bank of Manhattan and a Door-to-Door Valet Cleaners’ client for the past 19 years says that he is impressed with the business’ growth.
“As a community banker, it’s fascinating to watch businesses grow,” says Campbell. “It’s a statement to the Veera family that they’ve experienced such steady, controlled growth over the years.
Door-to-Door Valet Cleaners recently expanded with a 15,000 square foot (sf), $500,000 retrofit of a production facility located in the City of Hawthorne. The remodel of a former furniture retail store into a state-of-the-art drycleaning plant took a year to complete. The new facility has been open for a little over a year.
The reason for the move was simple, says Habib Veera, the company just needed more space. Buying the building rather than renting was the right move.
“When you make an investment on capital improvements, you want some longevity in that investment,” says Habib Veera. “For us, it made sense to buy the space and make improvements to suit, ensuring the best return on that investment.”
The project was financed in part through a Small Business Administration (SBA) green energy loan from the South Bay Business Development Council (SBBDC). Sajid Veera explains that in order to qualify for the loan, Door-to-Door Valet Cleaners had to undergo an energy audit and show that the company was reducing energy consumption in the long-term.
“The SBBDC saw that this was a project that was trying to that from top to bottom, so we were a good fit,” says Sajid. “They were just awesome to work with.”
The new plant facility incorporates green technologies such as skylights to provide natural lighting and help dissipate heat in the plant; high-efficiency lighting; 18-foot ceilings, which also help with heat dissipation; double-wrapped steam lines; and high-efficiency boilers. In addition, Door-to-Door Valet Cleaners employs the newest green cleaning technologies, including SystemK4 by Kreussler, a 100% green, biodegradable drycleaning solvent that is safe for humans and the environment; Green Earth Cleaning; and traditional wetcleaning. The new plant also allows for other green initiatives, such as providing space recycling plastic hangers.
The new plant opened in November, 2013. The Veera brothers agree that the additional space and better space organization has been a positive. “Having the space we need to do the things we need to do has definitely improved quality,” says Sajid Veera.
Campbell was impressed during his recent tour of the new production facility.
“Being in community banking for 30 years, I’ve been through a lot of shops and factories,” says Campbell. “I was just amazed at how clean, quiet, and efficient the new Door-to-Door plant was.”
Door-to-Door Valet Cleaners’ new facility is impressing others in the drycleaning industry as well. The plan was awarded the 54th Annual Plant Design Award for “Outstanding Plant On-Premises” by American Drycleaner, the drycleaning industry’s leading publication.
The Door-to-Door Valet Cleaners’ production plant, located at 13236 Hawthorne Blvd, City of Hawthorne, 90250 was designed by Edward D’Elicio. Michael Palmer, MPA Architects, was the architect. Wyatt-Bennett Equipment, US Western Multitech, and Les Pringle Services were equipment distributors. JA Trucking & Machinery Movers took care of moving and logistics, and Scott and Taylor Stopnik handled plant installation.
Door-to-Door Valet Cleaners has been selected as one of America’s Best CleanersTM since 2011. America’s Best Cleaners™ is the only independent certification organization for the dry cleaning industry, dedicated to the continued excellence of the dry-cleaning industry.