Nobody ever said you can’t have fun while you’re doing laundry.
Or at least that’s the mantra that local actor and singer Jim Anderson is taking up as the new owner of Anderson’s Laundry Room – taking over the Downtown Wash and Fold on N. Main Street at the beginning of the month with ambitions of turning it into a 50’s era joint one would expect to find at diner.
Earlier this month Anderson – the retired law enforcement officer, private investigator, Elvis enthusiast, singer and emerging actor – bought the business from a friend that operated it for nearly 20 years. He has plans to upgrade the facility to offer something that’s new and different in the world of laundry businesses.
On top of bringing back a wash-and-fold service – where people drop off their laundry and have it returned to them tended to – Anderson wants to put in black-and-white checkered flooring, a television that plays 50’s era movies on a loop, more tables and chairs for people to relax in while they’re waiting for their laundry to finish and vending machines for snacks and drinks.
“It’s something that’s different, but it was one of those opportunities that came along and it’s a good business,” Anderson said of how he came to acquire the facility. “A lot of people use laundromats, and we thought we could do something that’s a little unique that people would enjoy and that’s what we’re focusing on right now.
“We’re looking forward to this being a family business and something that the boys can have a hand in and maybe take over one day when I’m ready to retire.”
The throwback upgrades aren’t the only changes that may be on the table for the longtime business under new ownership.
Currently open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Anderson has been kicking around the idea of keeping the doors open for 24-hours in order to cater to customers who work graveyard or swing shift and can’t always get down before they close their doors.
He and wife Lisa have already talked to security companies about providing monitoring to deter the business from becoming a hangout for Manteca’s homeless population. They have installed security cameras that he can monitor from his cell phone to make sure that everybody who uses the facility feels safe.
At the end of the day, Anderson said, he loves Manteca and the people that live here – even those who occasionally get a bad rap, opting to help them whenever he can and talk to them rather than simply running them off – and wants to show that love by being a permanent part of the place he loves.
“We’re going to be here for a while – this is something that we can be proud of and my boys are going to be a big part of this and I think the community is going to like it,” Anderson said. “My wife is the business mind here and she’s got some great ideas and helps me figure out which ideas are good and which ones aren’t.
“We’re excited about this, and hope that we can do something that people will like.”
Anderson’s Laundry Room – formerly the Downtown Wash and Fold – is located at 940 N. Main Street in Manteca. The business is currently open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and is considering opening as a 24-hour business for the convenience of their customers. For additional information, contact Anderson at 209.629.0986.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.