Archive for Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hangers arrives in Eudora

August 10, 2006

With a lawn company, real estate company and two dry-cleaning operations, Beau Charbonneau has made ample use of his business sense.

His sense brought him to Cardinal Cleaners to take over a recently closed dry-cleaning aspect of the shop.

Having friends and relatives in town didn't hurt the decision either. Charbonneau's sister ---- Nicke Kobza ---- lives in town and he attended school with Shari Turnbaugh, owner of Cardinal Cleaners.

"The upside of Eudora is its schools and stuff. I think it's a great place to live," Charbonneau said. "It's a great place to run a business."

The community and the opportunity made it right for him to expand his dry cleaning holdings to include Eudora.

"My son goes to day care here," he said. "If my wife didn't work on (Sprint) campus, I'd probably live here."

Although he doesn't live here, he's doing the next best thing by expanding his business from Kansas City.

"Anything that you need that's detachable from your house or your body, we can take care of," Charbonneau said.

He originally opened a dry cleaning business in Kansas City, Kan., called Hangers on the Hill. His new operation carries a similar location-centered name "Hangers on Church."

Before opening his first dry cleaning business, Charbonneau worked at Sprint.

"The first business I owned and still operate is 5 Brothers Lawn Care," Charbonneau said.

Charbonneau kept things for his newest venture slow the first week to acclimate to the new location.

"The way we process clothes, I wanted to make sure the processes were working well," Charbonneau said.

His company uses a cleaning method based on carbon dioxide as opposed to environmentally harmful processes employed by some dry cleaners, he said.

The carbon dioxide process saves his company in the long run because the other cleaning processes require an environmental tax for a processing fee.

"We don't have to pay into that fund at all because we don't use that process," Charbonneau said.

In addition to cleaning stains on clothes, drapes or other fabrics, Charbonneau's business offers laundry sorting and folding services.

While ironing out any problems in maintaining his cleaning system, Charbonneau battled what he said was a common challenge.

"I think the hardest thing for any dry cleaner to do is changing people's habits to get them to try something new," he said.

To get new business, Charbonneau said he undertook a direct-mail advertising campaign. He's also offering a discount to new customers.

As he works to get his name out in the community, he's also looking toward the future and Eudora's constant growth.

"I think it's going to be a long time before Eudora has two dry cleaners," he said.

Although growing, the character of the community won't change, Charbonneau said.

"They're still growing yet maintaining the core values of the community.

"That's what we were hoping to do ---- maintain the core values of Eudora as a great place to live."

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