By Morgan Pilz, Staff Writer
(Nov. 15, 2018) A dry-cleaning store on William Street in Berlin that had operated for nearly a century has avoided closure, now that it has been purchased by Peninsula Cleaners.
The Venable Cleaners company, first opened in 1924, nearly shuttered all of its locations because of financial instability.
“I saw that they were planning to close and I called the owner,” Nick Kypreos, a partner in Peninsula Cleaners, said. “I spoke with Bill Venable, who owns the [property] in Berlin, and we came to an arrangement to take over the store and rent it from him, and to keep the business going and keep the employees employed.”
The other two stores, in Ocean City, shut down as the leases expired. All of the clothing not picked up from those locations will be available at the William Street store.
Janet Evans, who worked for Venable Cleaners for more than 30 years, is happy with the outcome.
“My new owner, Nick, is a great guy,” Evans said. “We have great service from something local and great customer access.”
According to Kypreos, the company wanted to let customers know right away that the Berlin location was not shutting down.
“We had to move quickly, because they had already been telling the customers they were closing and losing clientele,” he said. “We made an announcement, called every customer and we notified them [that] we were staying open, and to carry on doing business with us.”
Peninsula Cleaners has operated for 45 years and has six locations, not including the latest addition of the William Street store. The dry-cleaning service also has locations in Wicomico and Sussex counties
Clothes will be cleaned at the company’s plant in Seaford, Delaware. Additional services offered in Berlin include shoe repairs, tuxedo rentals and alterations, as well as drape, rug, linen and tablecloth cleaning.
“We pride ourselves in using environmentally friendly cleaning methods,” Kypreos said. “We installed a solar panel in our plant in Seaford. We try to be as environmentally friendly as we can.”
Peninsula Cleaners offers a free pickup and delivery service as well. This service is extended throughout Worcester County.
“Our employees have a lot of experience, but we [also] view our employees as family,” Kypreos said. “We feel happy we can maintain the Berlin store.”
The William Street store will also serve as a drop-off location for WMDT’s Keeping Warm on the Shore Coat Drive. The event kicked off Monday, Nov. 12, and will run through Saturday, Dec. 8. Residents are encouraged to donate gently used winter coats.
Peninsula Cleaners will collect and clean the coats so they can be distributed to local charities this winter. Last year, the company cleaned and distributed 2,200 coats.
“They clean the coats and distribute out through different organizations like the boys’ and girls’ clubs, and Diakonia,” Evans said.
For more information about Peninsula Cleaners, visit www.peninsulacleaners.com or call the Berlin store at 410-641-1400.