Local Business News on the Southern Oregon Coast
Local Businesses on the Southern Oregon Coast Featured in the South Coast Shopper
Empire Cleaners
By Annette Langenstein, Staff Writer 
There are exactly two places that do dry cleaning within a two and a half hour radius of Coos Bay/North Bend, and one of them is located at 982 Newmark Avenue in the Empire district of Coos Bay.  That would be Empire Cleaners, owned by Joseph Chandler. Joe actually lives in Bandon with his wife and five children, the youngest of whom, a darling blonde-headed boy, was peeking shyly around the corner of the reception area in the front office while I spoke with his dad.

Empire Cleaners’ owner Joe Chandler is a father of five who juggles familiy responsibilities and running his own successful business.

Joe grew up working for both his father and grandfather in the family business.  Nearly 15 years and four children later, Joe had to begin a new occupation because of the economic collapse, so he switched to diesel mechanics, working nearly a mile underground in a fully mechanized gold mine. Although he was making a lot of money, he was at great personal risk, so Joe decided to move his family back home to Oregon and begin his own small business.

“Most of our business comes from companies and private professionals in the area,” said Joe. “Times have changed since the days when even a gas station attendant had his work clothes dry-cleaned and pressed.  Nowadays we see business professionals coming in with wash and wear clothing.”

Because of the gradual reduction in the need for dry cleaning services, Joe’s business has branched out in another direction.  “We contract with insurance companies when there’s a fire, flood, or other damage to a home, and we clean everything from carpets to drapes, bringing things back to good condition.  We’ve got some draperies hanging in the back right now that have just been cleaned.”  

I asked Joe how his Shopper Saver ad has been working. He replied, “I used to do a lot of radio and newspaper advertising, and it cost me a lot of money.  I never got one call because of it.  But with the Shopper, I DO get calls, because everybody reads the Shopper.”  

Joe told me that he’s open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. “If for some reason the place isn’t open during regular hours, it’s because there’s something that one of the kids is doing that I think is important. That’s the beauty of having this type of job.  I can keep my family with me when I need to, or I can take time off to be with them.  When you have five kids, there’s never enough time for all the sports activities and schoolwork.”

If you need to get some items dry cleaned, or maybe some drapes or other fabric in your home need sprucing up (with free pickup and delivery!), give Empire Cleaners a call at 541-888-3356. They’re located on Newmark Avenue right in the heart of the Empire District, where Joe will be waiting to give you great service with a smile.

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