A hospitable couple, Bob and Carolyn, are running their Aloha Laundry as a retirement business. When we walked in we couldn't believe what we saw. A festive Hawaiian theme with walls painted bright colors and a welcoming, well-appointed waiting room. Unexpectedly clean machines, without the usual "out of order" signs pasted on every other one, were neatly lined along two walls. Not only did the machines glisten, the whole place was shiny from a daily rubdown -- restroom, kitchenette, and the many tables available for folding clothes all showed loving care. The floors were mopped, wastebaskets emptied, and the windows washed.
As travelers we visit many laundromats, and this one is the best we've experienced. I typically drag my feet when it is wash day because I really detest laundromats. But this one won my heart in every way, especially its delightful owners. They have thought of everything to please their customers, including exercise machines and free internet. Coffee was brewing, cookies and popcorn were available, as well as Halloween candy. While we were there neighborhood kids came in on their daily rounds for a friendly hello and a piece of candy.
But, better than all of this, the owners offered up great philosophy. They proudly spoke of their child and their grandchildren, as well as mentioning two of their children who died early deaths, ages 6 and 7, of sistus fibrosis. After these tragedies they determined that life was too uncertain to waste and they'd best start living. So they began traveling, going to Hawaii often over the years (thus the theme for their laundromat) and also RVing, all sandwiched in with various entrepreneurial activities.
It's not likely we'll find ourselves in Grangeville again, but if we do you can believe we will have a huge load of dirty clothes. No way am I driving by the Aloha Laundry.
And, if you find yourself in Grangeville with a load of dirty laundry, the Aloha Laundry is located at 817 Cunningham, Grangeville, Idaho. They also offer one day drop-off service. Say hi to Bob and Carolyn for us. Oh yes, Benton was welcome too. My guess is if we get there again they will have added dog bones as one more thoughtful service.
(Photos courtesy of Aloha Laundry Facebook page.)
Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game. Service wins the game.
~ Tony Allesandra