Craig Seabright hadn’t been expecting or planning to move his laundry business in Spring Valley. Craig explained, “I’ve had the laundry down there by the BP (gas station/convenience store) for the last 14 years. And then (landlord) Tom told me that he was looking to sell the building, so he thought it was best for me to find a new place to go.”
Craig also is the owner of Seabright Electric, and said that it took him a while to realize that his laundry’s best relocation spot was right under his nose. Craig went on, “I looked at a lot of different properties. I tried to come up with some different scenarios, and different things I could do to build another building somewhere. But that just didn’t work out, and this building really wasn’t big enough anyway for a (electric) shop, just because it’s not tall enough for the new equipment. So I thought it made sense to refurbish that.” Knowing that such a move would take a lot of time and effort, Craig decided to take the plunge, rather than waiting until he had to move at the last moment. His electric business has expanded to the west, which opened a spot for Valley Laundry. He also rents one end of the building out to American Family Insurance.
Craig’s electric business has been open in Spring Valley for just over 30 years, and in the current location at 1000 Industrial Drive since 1992. He said, “I’ll hopefully maybe build a new building down the road, next year… The city has got some lots here and they’ve been really good. The city’s been terrific to us. But you know, in a lot of these small towns, most of them are finding your growth is going to come from within.”
Explaining the challenges in relocating a laundry, Craig stated, “I had to bring in a new water line, an inch-and-a-half water line and sewer. And a new gas line, and electric. So I had to upgrade all the utilities.” He added that there were challenges in relocating his electric shop also, quipping, “When you go moving a shop you’ve had for 30 years, you collect a lot of stuff.”
The new Valley Laundry has much the same equipment as at the old location. Craig explained, “I’ve got 12 smaller washers, six 18-pounders and six 22-pounders. And then three 35s and a 50. And then I’ve got one 75-pound dryer and 14 30-pound dryers. He added, “I did make provisions to add a self-serve dog wash.”
Craig’s laundry opened in its new location November 15, and is open 24-7. Craig stated, “The people are starting to find me again. It’s been as good as I expected.” He offers a special on Wednesdays ($1.25 to wash) and is looking to add outdoor seating in the summer.
Overall, Craig is pleased with the relocation process, and said, “My electric shop is next door which works good for me. I get to stop in and talk to the laundry customers more than I could before. Then if someone has a question I’m there to help them, too.” Craig added with a grin, “I enjoy the laundry business, and I try to take care of it and keep it clean. I think this is the third or fourth time I’ve remodeled this building. I keep telling myself I’m not going to do it anymore!”