What is the primary purpose of your business? We provide emergency dry cleaning restoration for homes or businesses that have been affected by fire, water, smoke or storm damage. We provide the cleaning of the garments, soft goods, draperies and area rugs to restore them to pre-loss conditions.
What is the business background of the owners? Barry and Larry Alford own ServiceMaster by Twins and felt the need to expand their services into the specialty dry cleaning area.
What did you start (or purchase) this particular business? We started the business to be able to provide complete cleaning in the home or business setting resulting from a catastrophic event. We have been busy for the last month or so. We get a lot of business from the start of winter. We’ve had a lot of storms in the last year. People’s comforters, curtains, bedspreads, clothes and everything have been blown about and damaged.
What makes your business unique? We are the only dry cleaning restoration company that has a state of the art plant. We have steam tunnels and ozone chambers that are incredibly helpful at removing odors. We also have a bar code system that allows us to not only keep track of items on each cleaning, but also keep thorough records of an item every time it is handled by us.
What do you enjoy the most about your chosen profession? We enjoy being able to take special garments or items and restore them to pre-loss condition. A lot of times, when clothing in particular has been damaged, people are amazed at our ability to get things back to that pre-loss condition. When it has been smoke damaged, people are amazed at our ability to get the odor out of items that were smoked-up heavily. Their expectations are not really high, and to be able to get something of sentimental value back is really special.
What has been the biggest or most interesting challenge to overcome as a small business owner? Starting a business from nothing and building it to be profitable through a bad economic time. We actually started EDR about two years ago. It wasn’t the best time in terms of the general economy, but the timing was OK in terms of the number of storms that have occurred in the Rome area since we started the business.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? We would like people to realize that we are a Christian-based company and EDR Cleaning is a division of Rome Cleaners.