Friday, May 25, 2018
Business

Local couple helps Tide bring new dry cleaning features to Valrico

VALRICO

Husband and wife duo Berry and Sharon Wright of Lithia are back in business together for the second time.

The entrepreneurial partners created and delivered helium balloon bouquets back in the early 1980s while attending Louisiana Tech University. They often dressed as clowns and once fulfilled an order of 3,000 for Grambling State University ó by hand.

This time, they have automated their new business and offer a 24-hour pick up kiosk. The couple has opened Tide Dry Cleaners at 1928 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. The location, in the Crest Pointe Towne Center anchored by Walmart, features a two-lane drive-through valet and a two-conveyor system inside the 3,000 square foot building.

One conveyor services what looks like a drive-up ATM machine. The difference is your pin number gets you freshly laundered garments instead of greenbacks.

"We got a lot of customers that are already doing it," Berry Wright said. "It really is a new way to look at dry cleaning and we want it to be nice and bright in a nice environment."

To use the kiosk, customers put a credit card on file and access orders with a PIN or a smartphone. Tide Dry Cleaners will send an email when your order is ready, along with a scan code.

Berry Wright said one of his first guests had 52 garments in the machine, though it delivers only a handful at a time. Itís available for popular pieces such as shirts and pants, but donít expect to pick up a prom dress or comforter using the ATM.

Since this is a national franchise stemming from Procter & Gambleís Cincinnati headquarters, customers will have their clothes cleaned using Tide and Downy products. Tide Dry Cleaners also touts its GreenEarth cleaning technology that claims to be gentler on clothes, skin and the environment by avoiding petroleum-based solvents traditionally found in dry cleaners.

The Wrights have committed to opening nine locations in the Tampa Bay area, with their second site slated to open by the end of 2018 on South Dale Mabry Highway near the Sprouts Farmerís Market. They were attracted to a Tide Dry Cleaners franchise from business partner Joe Blancato, who introduced them to the Naples franchisee.

"I like to work," said Berry, who sold International Food Group in Plant City to Sysco in 2004. "Weíve been looking ever since. Iíve always wanted to deal with the public. Iíve done business to business. I love it. Itís kind of my hobby."

The Wrights promise garments in by 9 a.m. will receive same-day treatment and be ready for pickup at 5 p.m., but rugs, leather and wedding dresses are sent to specialists. Alterations can be completed in a week and buttons are replaced for free.

Tide Dry Cleaners holds its grand opening all day Saturday (May 19). New customers receive welcome bags with samples, coupons and a list of services including "back to black" where $2 more promises color restoration of items such as a cotton polo black or a faded white dress shirt.

The couple likely wonít don any clown makeup for the event, but they have been known to dry clean a mascot costume. Visit facebook.com/TDCValrico/ for details.

Contact Eric Vician at [email protected]

Comments
Five members of 69ers motorcycle gang indicted on federal charges

Five members of 69ers motorcycle gang indicted on federal charges

Last year three members of the 69ers Motorcycle Club gang were implicated in the execution of a rival gang leader in the middle of rush hour traffic in Pasco County.Now those three and two other 69ers members have been indicted on federal charges tha...
Updated: 4 hours ago
With makeover, ZooTampa at Lowry Park takes a page from the theme parks

With makeover, ZooTampa at Lowry Park takes a page from the theme parks

TAMPA — Behind the construction walls near the carousel at ZooTampa at Lowry Park, hammers, saws and power drills made a racket in the blazing Friday heat. A raft full of 100-pound water jugs took test trips on the new Roaring Springs ride set ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
U.S. news outlets block European readers over new privacy rules

U.S. news outlets block European readers over new privacy rules

LONDON ó U.S. news outlets including The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Orlando Sentinel and The Arizona Daily Star abruptly blocked access to their websites from Europe on Friday, choosing to black out readers rather than comply with a ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Tampa Electric appeals OSHA findings for October accident

Tampa Electric appeals OSHA findings for October accident

TAMPA ó Tampa Electric Co. is appealing a recent citation by federal regulators. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration hit the utility with a $76,050 fine and a "serious" violation in April following its investigation into an accident in ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Fiat Chrysler recalls 4.8 million cars, warning owners: Donít use the cruise control

Fiat Chrysler recalls 4.8 million cars, warning owners: Donít use the cruise control

Associated PressDETROIT ó Fiat Chrysler is recalling 4.8 million vehicles in the U.S. because in rare but terrifying circumstances, drivers may not be able to turn off the cruise control. The company is warning owners not to use cruise control until...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Federal Reserve chairman warns his agency must be free from political pressure

Federal Reserve chairman warns his agency must be free from political pressure

Associated PressFederal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned Friday that the Fedís independence from political pressure must be respected if it is to succeed in controlling inflation, maximizing employment and regulating the financial system. His re...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Restaurants like Ford’s Garage use the experience to get you in the door

Restaurants like Ford’s Garage use the experience to get you in the door

Tim Butler’s first car was a Ford Model A pick-up truck — a pearl fawn and cherry red pick-up he got his senior year in high school from his dad, who renovates antique cars. That’s why as Butler waited for a table at the Ford’...
Updated: 11 hours ago
St. Petersburg man fined $507,513 in penny stock scheme

St. Petersburg man fined $507,513 in penny stock scheme

TAMPA ó A St. Petersburg man was fined $507,513 and permanently barred from participating in the offering of a penny stock in a case involving a scheme to manipulate the price of Aureus, a penny stock company incorporated in Nevada, officials said Fr...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Broadcomís CEO tops highest-paid list with a $103 million payout

Broadcomís CEO tops highest-paid list with a $103 million payout

Times staff and wiresNEW YORK ó Chief executives at the biggest public companies got an 8.5 percent raise last year, bringing the median pay package for CEOs to $11.7 million. Across the S&P 500, compensation for CEOs is often hundreds of times highe...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Denis Phillips, hurricane season guru, talks his signature beer, suspenders and Rule #7

Denis Phillips, hurricane season guru, talks his signature beer, suspenders and Rule #7

SAFETY HARBOR ó Denis Phillips cracks a pop-top and pulls a can that looks a lot like him to his lips."Itís got that citrusy feel to it," he says. "Which is a Florida thing. Thatís not bad." Indeed, thereís a grapefruit finish to Rule #7 Hurricane Sa...
Published: 05/25/18