Water, sewer connection leads to laundromat
BERLIN — When the town of Berlin expanded its water and sewer connections to Route 113 through annexation two years ago, John Derrickson saw it as an opportunity to use the former Sherwood Ford building he has owned since 2002. The building at 9040 Worcester Highway had been sitting vacant next to his John’s Autobody Repair and Towing service.
But in late February, Derrickson will open his second “Sunshine Laundry” with state-of-the-art washers and dryers in a newly renovated facility with 24-hour high-tech surveillance. He is planning to have a grand opening for the laundromat, which is on the south side of the building.
The paint is still drying and the lights were being turned on the day Bayside Gazette visited, but the first thing you notice is the upscale décor with its warm colors, café tables and potted plants. Beach-themed murals by local artists Eric Huntington, Pam Mason and Kathy Denk, along with whimsical signs throughout, give a whole different feel from what usually competes with watching the spin cycle.
Sunshine Laundry comes equipped with flat screen televisions —
complete with remotes — so you won’t have to miss your favorite team sports or shows to do the laundry.
The second thing you notice, are the rows of highly polished stainless steel Dexter EXPRESS washers and dryers with their digital read-outs and huge capacities, the stainless steel work tables and the chrome handcarts with valet bars. The 16 washers have wash load capacities from 80 lbs. to 18 lbs. and the 22 dryers can handle loads that are slightly larger than their washer counterparts.
According to Derrickson, the duration of the wash cycles range from 22 to 27 minutes and the minimum dry cycle is 15 minutes. He credits the 200G-force spin cycles for the reduced laundry time.
“When you take the clothes out of the washers they are virtually dry,” he said, adding that in 42 minutes clothes are “washed, dried and done.”
Derrickson said he decided to open a laundromat at the site because he felt there was a need for one in the area and he wanted to provide one for clientele whom he felt would really appreciate the nice clean environment he had in mind. “We clean twice a day,” he said.
Meanwhile, workers are busily constructing an equally upscale beer, wine and convenience store on the north side of the building.
The opening for the beer and wine store is scheduled for April 1. The liquor license and permits have been approved, Derrickson said. He said he is even considering adding a deli or small pub at some point in the future.
What will make that type of plaza-like complex feasible is the 24-hour camera system that constantly monitors the site, although the laundry will not be open 24 hours.
The hours will be from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days per week.
Derrickson’s first Sunshine Laundry is located in Pittsville, off Sixty Foot Road.