Business presses on at Eminence Cleaners

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By Cindy DiFazio

“It pleases us to please you” was Floyd Creek’s credo, and the new owner of Eminence Dry Cleaners said he will honor that tradition.

Robert Eades has used Eminence Dry Cleaners to care for his Sunday best since becoming pastor of the Eminence Pentecostal Church nine years ago. He enjoyed Creek’s company and respected his business ethic.
“He was kind to me,” Eades said. “He sponsored our Easter drama and we were good business acquaintances.”

When Creek passed in October, Henry County was in real danger of losing its only dry cleaning business.

Long-time employee Danny Russell had been named in Creek’s will as heir to Eminence Cleaners, but declined.
Russell owns Rivertown Cleaners in Carrollton and is getting ready to retire himself.

Creek’s children were not interested in running it either and put the business up for sale.

Eades said there were a number of reasons he took up the cause. “There have been a lot of businesses shutting down,” he said. “I was interested in keeping this one open.”

Another reason was the total lack of competition.

With no background in dry cleaning, Eades said he is lucky to have veteran Debbie Ball on-staff. Ball has entered her ninth year in the business, and knows every aspect. “She has the same eye for detail as Mr. Creek,” he said.

Eades plans to not only continue providing residents with great services, but offer a few new ones.

He is working on a contract to provide tuxedo and formal gown rentals.

Another idea is to retool part of the storefront as a laundromat or, as the Texarkana native refers to it, a “washeteria.” Eades said it would be open only during regular business hours when an attendant could be on-hand.
But, first things first.

The lobby is due for a total rehab in the coming months. A dropped ceiling and air-conditioning will add to customers’ comfort, and computer installation will allow the business to accept credit and debit cards for the first time.

Kim Ricketts is taking over the alterations department since Sylvia Downey retired.

Eades and Ball both credit Creek for their interest in sustaining and improving the venerable business. “I want to continue Mr. Creek’s legacy to do things right,” Ball said.

Eminence Police Department Major Kevin Kemper popped in to pick up his uniforms, and gave her a peck on the cheek. “I don’t know what we’d do without them,” he said.

“We’re continuing a legacy of clean,” Eades said, “and he gave us a path to follow.”