A Beautifully Written Story About The World’s Largest Laundromat

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It’s a rainy morning—FINALLY!
(I live in drought plagued California)

While skimming through my emails I found one from Ann Handley, the author of Everybody Writes.

I subscribed to Ann’s site because I want to be a better writer, but also because she’s a guide to the good stuff on the Internet πŸ˜‰

Think of the Internet as a giant forest and Ann as the seasoned guide who knows which berries you can eat and where to find water and shelter.

This morning she served up a feast of yummy berries!

Directing her readers to Distance, the monthly online magazine produced by a project management company called Basecamp, she introduced us to a special spot in the forest.
A place that offers “quirky” uplifting stories featuring quality writing about something you’d think would BORING—but instead is fascinating. Β The stories are about companies that have been in business at least a quarter of a century.

No startup hero stories here.
Just regular people with less than sexy businesses delivering the good stuff to their customers over the long haul.

My Dad and Grandpa were plumbers and ran the Laundromat in our little hometown.
So when I saw a story about a Laundromat I couldn’t resist.
It didn’t disappoint!!!

I wanted to share it with my WordPress friends because I know you care about good storytelling.
Basecamp has been publishing Distance for about a year so you can choose from 11 great offerings, so far!
I subscribed via email so I won’t miss new stories.

Why is Basecamp publishing stories that aren’t about their own business?
Good question.
They’re doing it because they believe it’s harder to stay in business than to start a business and they want to shine a light on how people have managed to do it.

It made me think about my Dry Cleaners, the Shoe Repair Shop, and the Knit Shop that all thrive in a little old outdated strip mall. Β Are they getting rich? Β No, I don’t think so, but they are there when I need them.

Without realizing it we all depend on these small business owners.
I get tired of the chain restaurants and long for a Mrs. Simon to open a little breakfast/lunch spot where I can take my grandkids.
*Mrs. Simon had a little cafe next to my Aunt & Uncle’s Shop Rite Market when I was a kid. Β It’s where my Dad took me for breakfast after we cleaned & opened the Laundromat on Saturday mornings πŸ˜‰

You can read about The World’s Largest Laundromat here:

https://thedistance.com/worlds-largest-laundromat/

Here’s where Ann Handley writes about good writing:

http://www.annhandley.com/2015/03/11/basecamp-barking-long-tree-distance/

 

Is there a business you depend on, but have taken for granted?
Next time you stop in share your appreciation and let them know they’ve helped make your life a little easier.
Tell a friend about them or mention it to your Facebook friends because sharing is nice πŸ˜‰

8 Comments on “A Beautifully Written Story About The World’s Largest Laundromat

  1. I like Mark’s look on things. Give and you will receive. He has grit also. It took him through it all. He is a true enteperneour. He probably does not have the word cannot in his vocabulary. I really believe that folks just want to be loved on and feel important. Mark shared that with folks. I commented last night in our prayer group that folks know if you are genuine. Let’s be real followers of Christ and genuinely love folks. Like Mark the benefits speak for themselves. Kelly this was a great story and I am browsing around a bit more. Thank you for sending it my way.

    Much love Tom

    • I’m all about the sharing of good stuff! My kindergarten report card said I shared too much with my neighbors πŸ˜‰
      I do love that they managed to build a good business by noticing things like the fact that 25% of the people in the Laundromat are children. Morning donuts and Wednesday night Pizza are just great ways to give back to the community. We all can do more of that.

      • Enlightening wasn’t it Kelly. Our church is working on a county wide resource center and the group of men I meet with we are always trying to think out of the box. Sometimes old ideas are the new way. Like the girl that shared with her neighbors to much. Or just noticing ask the details. I miss so much in my excitement sometimes. Thanks again for sharing with me.

    • Like the song from Cheers says, “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came”. You get that at a small local business. Sometimes they make good photo subjects πŸ˜‰

  2. I try very hard to help out local hardware store to stay in business. Even if it means spending a little more on certain items when compared to the big-box stores. When you factor in the time and cost of driving and wandering around the store, it’s really not a savings. Thanks for writing about this.

    • So sad when the local stores close their doors! Our Christian Bookstore is on it’s way out. The shelves are almost bare and unless you’re looking for a Spanish or Large Print Bible you’re gonna have to turn to amazon.com. The Internet is changing the way we shop, but you still can’t get an ice cream cone online on a hot summer’s day.
      Want to suggest a local business for The Distance to profile?
      Get Maddie, jump in the truck, and go prospecting for a 25+ year old company in your area that’s thriving πŸ˜‰

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