Modesto Steam Laundry, one member of an exclusive group of businesses that have remained in continuous operation for at least 100 years in Stanislaus County, is closing.
Ed Dale, who has manages the day-to-day operation of the family business, said today that Modesto Steam Laundry isn’t shutting because of the recession. He blamed it on disputes with other family members that resulted in a court-ordered liquidation.
The late Harold Simidian and his brother Ed were the longtime owners of the business. Dale, the grandson of Ed Simidian, and his cousins, the descendants of Harold Simidian, are equal partners in the business.
Dale, who also has a CPA practice in Stockton, said the family partnership had become contentious in recent years. Despite that and the recession, he said, Modesto Steam was doing fine but needed some investment as well as operational changes and expense savings.
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“We couldn’t agree on the time of day, much less anything else,” Dale said. “I really thought it was solvable, but the court ordered the liquidation and that’s the end of it.”
The other family members and their attorney couldn’t be reached for comment today.
The business, which has two locations in Modesto and one in Ripon, is no longer taking items to clean. Dale plans to keep its McHenry Village outlet and one in Ripon open until June 20. Items not picked up from those sites by then will be send to the original location at 1201 Eighth St., which will remain open until June 26. Workers also will contact customers with items awaiting pickup.
Dale announced the closure Tuesday to his 19 employees, many of whom have been with Modesto Steam Laundry for 20 years or more. “Telling the employees had to be the lowest point of my professional life,” he said.