Cleaner comes to aid of Hotel Hell
Beginning the week with a Monday morning call from producers of a television show who desperately need your help is exciting, but that excitement can soon turn into anxiety if, during that phone call, you are asked to start an important and delicate job by the end of the day and make sure it is completed by the following morning.
That’s exactly what happened to French Cleaners’ owner Phil Cote when he received a last-minute invitation to perform a window treatment makeover for a historic inn to be featured on Gordon Ramsay’s latest TV show, Hotel Hell.
The program, now in its second season, is typically watched by around five million viewers. Each episode documents Ramsay visiting a failing lodging establishment and trying to help reverse its misfortunes, similar in nature to another of Ramsay’s shows, Kitchen Nightmares, which focuses on his efforts to help revive failing eateries in the restaurant industry.
Typically, drycleaning is not the first thing that comes to mind for revamping an old hotel. However, French Cleaners had caught the eye of the show’s producers who believed the company’s unique skill set and services were needed for work that needed to be completed on Curtis House Inn, Connecticut’s oldest inn, built over 275 years ago.
“Not too many businesses can offer services like alterations and on-site embroidery,” Cote explained. “The producers were impressed that we were able to bring our sewing machines, embroidery machines and computer to the site to create the custom designs.”
Curtis House Inn had to close to the public for about a week in May in order to finish some of the upgrades.
Cote was joined on site in the late hours by French Cleaners’ seamstress, Wilma DaRocha. The duo utilized a bedroom in the inn as their makeshift workroom.
During their brief stay, they managed to meet their deadline and create bespoke draperies for the inn’s waiting area and two of the guest rooms.
“It was a lot of fun,” recalled Cote. “We went in with the crew and worked into the night while the owner wasn’t there. Everything had to be done by ten o’clock the next morning.”
The Hotel Hell episode featuring Curtis House Inn and the work completed by French Cleaners is not scheduled to air until sometime this Fall.
The reality program is the fourth series created by Gordon Ramsay airing on the Fox network. His other series include Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares and MasterChef.
French Cleaners has been family owned and operated since 1911. Its web site is located at www.frenchcleaner.com.
Dependable recognized for ‘green’ initiatives
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino recently presented the 2013 Greenovate Boston Awards and Dependable Cleaners made the cut.
The honors were distributed to local businesses and residents for doing their part in demonstrating “extraordinary performance regarding sustainability, such as employee engagement, operations, renewable energy, stormwater management and innovation.
Dependable has spent over $1 million in its efforts to eliminate its use of perchloroethylene, including transitioning twice to alternative cleaning solvents. The company’s first move was to EcoSolv, which was followed by another change to GreenEarth.
Additionally, the company wetcleans garments and utilizes an outside trainer who comes in regularly to help develop the staff’s ability to increase their wetcleaning capabilities.
The business also donates $3 for every wedding gown they clean to Carbonfund.org in order to offset the carbon footprint of the cleaning and preservation process.
“At Dependable Cleaners we take pride in providing our customers with the highest quality of drycleaning care. Part of that quality is making sure the solutions we are using are environmentally friendly,” said Dependable Cleaners President and CEO Christa Hagearty.
The Greenovate Boston initiative not only emphasizes greener practices, it has set a goal to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050, which is something Hagearty can appreciate.
“As a mother of three children, it is very important to me that this world is going to be safe for them and their children,” she added. “With the many innovations there have been in drycleaning and drycleaning solutions over the years, it’s a no brainer for us to instill those ‘green practices’ in our facilities.”