Laundromat Cafe takes Kentwood by Surprise

meghan_dooleyCrepes, coffee, and laundry may not sound like your typical café, but the workers at Sheldon Cleaners in Kentwood think it’s the perfection combination.

The local dry cleaning chain opened Café Louis at its newly remodeled Kentwood location. Their soft open was official on January 19th , but the cafe began announcing their presence at the beginning of February.

Part cafe, part laundry mat and dry cleaners - all fun!
Part cafe, part laundromat and dry cleaners – all fun!

Sheldon Cleaners Marketing Director Sue Chaitin says she hopes the café will bring a new spin on doing laundry.

“Crepes are Parisian street food, like a flour tortilla but made with egg and flour,” she explains, adding it is filled with sweet to savory fillings and folded over.

Chaitin says the crepes are intended to be held while walking which is ideal for a laundromat atmosphere where people are typically be multitasking.

The response regarding Café Louis has been positive, but Chaitin says that sometimes customers find the café-laundry combo hard to believe.

Crepes are the perfect food for multi-tasking.
Crepes are the perfect food for multi-tasking.

“Once people come inside, they get it. It makes them want to come do their laundry here.”

She admits that visiting a laundromat is not the most inviting environment. “Here you can get all your laundry done and a relaxing, good time,” Chaitin says.

Typically, area renters and college students have frequented the laundromat the most, but since Sheldon Cleaners has opened Café Louis, Chaitin says they have started to see new faces.

“There’s a big crossover,” Chaitin says. “There are people who drop off their clothes for dry cleaning and those who come in for the restaurant.”

The busiest time for Sheldon Cleaners is usually the lunch and weekend rush which has increased the amount of customers at Café Louis but Chaitin hopes to increase traffic at other times, particularly in the morning.  She explains, “We’re going to have a drive-thru window soon where you can actually drop your dry cleaning off and pick up a cup of coffee or a crepe at the same time.”

Not only can customers get a good crepe, but they can also get a good deal. Café Louis will soon offer a service that allows customers to have their laundry washed, dried and even folded for them.

Coming soon - a drive thru window!
Coming soon – a drive thru window!

“Have us do your laundry while you sit here and have a crepe, it doesn’t any better than that!”

As far as bringing the laundry café to other Sheldon Cleaners in West Michigan, Chaitin says, “If it makes sense, they’ll probably start duplicating it at some of the other locations.”