BY April Smyth
For 21 years, Wash-Um II Laundromat has been offering quality services to local customers. Located on Industrial Boulevard in Loyalhanna, Wash-Um II features a full-service laundromat, tanning, and even a car wash!
The owners, Russ and Terri Roddy, purchased the laundromat in November 1997 after it was converted from a cozy restaurant (formerly Pardners) by their friend Don Ray. The couple decided to purchase the building with the intention of having a successful business in retirement.
Terri is a retired US Postal Service Employee, having served for 35 years. She began as a mail carrier and advanced through every level of office before retiring as an Operations Manager and part of the WPA District Leadership. Russ remains the owner and operator of Latrobe Window Cleaning, a cleaning company located in power plants in the Johnstown area. Russ has overseen operations of Wash-Um II since its inception, while Terri pursued her career.
Everyone who owns a business knows that there are plenty of challenges. The Roddy’s are no exception. Terri reports that one of the biggest challenges has been getting the business’s information to the right audience. Additionally, since people aren’t always receptive to change, it is often challenging to keep employees on board with new ideas. The staff who directly works with customers daily need to understand and believe in the business and its services, or it adversely affects the customer.
Although every business has challenges, the rewards are greater. Terri reports, “throughout my career, I have always had subordinate employees and loved mentoring them to move on to advance their career.”
She also enjoys all aspects of customer service and prides herself on the ability to turn a negative situation into a positive experience. Terri genuinely enjoys people and listening to their interesting stories. Her leadership role at the USPS gave her the management skills required to operate the business.
According to Terri, “owning our own business allows for new avenues and ideas and to be able to keep up on the latest developments. The most rewarding part for me is trying new things and watching the success, and having the employees involved. Plus, I love being busy. I’m not interested in relaxing in retirement.”
Wash-Um has always been a family-owned and operated business. Initially, Terri’s teenage daughter, Nikki, assisted with tanning customers and drop-off laundry. Her mother, Joan, came out of retirement for the third time to work a few days each week, which lasted for nine years. She ironed and filled shifts for other employees who needed time off. Russ’s daughter, Brenda, has been extremely helpful over the last 16 years, resigning recently to devote more time to her grandchildren. His son Kenny continues to assist as needed to keep operations running.
Employees become family, and that creates a warm, friendly atmosphere for valued customers. Roxanne and Melanie have been with Wash-Um for over eight years. Bonnie has been with them for four years and Leah, the newest employee, has been there for over a year now. Not only are these ladies dedicated to Russ and Terri, but also to their beloved customers.
Wash-Um II can easily differentiate themselves from the competition. They always have full-time attendants on duty to ensure the cleanliness of the facility and the machines. Since they own the build-ing, the overhead is low, and Terri and Russ can pass the savings along to the customers. Services they offer because of their dedicated attendants include:
Ironing: $1.85/piece. All items are ironed by hand and placed in plastic for ease of transport for the customer. There is a two day turn around commitment and they do a beautiful job.
Wash & Fold Service: $1.10/lb. Customers drop off dirty laundry and pick up folded, fresh, and clean garments ready to take home. Same day service available at no extra cost.
Wash-Um Laundry Club: $25 flat rate fee. The customer purchases the club bag, fills it with dirty laundry, schedules a drop-off, and picks up folded, fresh, and clean items the same day. No weighing necessary.
Comforters: $18, all sizes. Drop off, pick up in a zippered storage bag.
Dry cleaning: Simple convenience for customers.
Tanning: 4-bed tanning salon featuring Ergoline Beds (level 3 and 4 high powered beds). Several packages are available with top quality tanning lotions for sale.
Heavy-duty Washing Machines: Dedicated to extremely dirty, heavily soiled clothing. This frees up the other machines for customer’s day-to-day laundry.
Commercial Laundry Services: Medical robes, towels, tablecloths, drop-cloths, etc. Pickup and drop off services are available if required.
6-bay Car Wash
Complimentary coffee, Wi-Fi, and cable TV
MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express accepted
Open 7 days per week: 7 AM to 8 PM
Russ and Terri also own and operate Norge Laundromat located in Blairsville on North Walnut Street across from Bergman’s Hardware. Although there are not full-time employees on the premises, all the services offered in Loyalhanna can be arranged in Blairsville with a simple phone call.
In addition to the laundromat, Terri is very active with her church, St. Rose’s Church on Hillview Ave. Her heart belongs to the kids at St. Jude, where she has been a proud supporter for the past 30 years.
You can visit Wash-Um II Laundromat on Facebook or in person to learn more about their awesome services! Please call 724-539-4544 for more information. Stop by 909 Industrial Boulevard, Loyalhanna, PA today!