(Nov. 9, 2018) A dry-cleaning store on Williams Street in Berlin, which has operated for nearly 100 years, has avoided closure now that it has been purchased by Peninsula Cleaners.
The Venable Cleaners company, which first opened in 1924, nearly shut down all its locations as a result of lack of financial stability.
“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 real estate 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, located in Ocean City, have shut down as the leases have expired. All of the clothing not picked up from those locations will be available at the William Street store.
Janet Evans, who has worked for Venable Cleaners for over 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 been in operation for 45 years and has six locations, not including the latest addition of the Williams Street store. The dry-cleaning service is provided in Wicomico, Sussex and now Worcester County.
The clothes will be cleaned in the company’s plant located in Seaford, Delaware. Additional services offered in the Berlin store include shoe repairs, tuxedo rentals, alterations, as well as drape, rug, linen and table cloth 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. From Nov. 12 through Dec. 8, area residents are encouraged to donate gently used winter coats. Peninsula Cleaners will collect and clean the coats so that 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 http://peninsulacleaners.com or call the Berlin store at 410-641-1400.