Hokes Bluff Laundry is a dream 20 years in the making


By Kaitlin Hoskins, News Editor
The new Hokes Bluff Laundry took a few years to get from concept to brick and mortar, but according to Kelley McGinnis, co-owner of the business, the idea came about 20 years prior.
“We dreamed about it 20 years ago,” McGinnis said. “We’ve kind of seen in the past 20 years the need has risen for a laundromat around us. We have a few apartments. We understand that having a washer and dryer isn’t always easy to come by. The closest one to us, before they opened one in Glencoe, was East Gadsden. You can see the need for it, for sure.”
McGinnis saw first-hand how difficult and time consuming it was to travel to East Gadsden. Her father lived in an apartment behind the Piggly Wiggly and had to use rural transportation to get around town.
McGinnis’ background is in banking, real estate and even a 14-year stint working at the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office. Now she is focusing on the business shared with her sister-in-law Cindy McGinnis and her real estate business.
McGinnis focuses on the day-to-day operations of the business. She arrives at the building to open it before 8 a.m. and she checks in on it throughout the day. The building is under 24-hour surveillance.
“When it is your passion then it’s not a job. It’s easy when it’s fun,” McGinnis said about the long hours. “I don’t ever dread Mondays anymore.”
“It took us some time to come up with the funds and the place to do it at,” McGinnis said. “It took about three years, you know, of hard work and laying the vision board out.”
The new laundromat is in the old Hokes Bluff Pharmacy building located at 3849 Old US Highway 278 in eastern Hokes Bluff.
The laundromat offers triple-load, double-load and standard washing machines and dryers. All of the machines take quarters. According to McGinnis, they just installed vending machines and are looking into how to offer Wi-Fi for customers.
The location offers more than just the laundry units. McGinnis and Cindy also own climate-con-trolled storage units and a few apartments there.
“They [Cindy and her husband] used to own the General Store in Hokes Bluff. They actually now own a Family Care Center in Centre. She is very business savvy,” McGinnis said.
McGinnis said the support of the community has been great so far, despite the business not advertising much and doing a slow opening.
“Had a guy come in who said that his washer just quit on him and he didn’t have time to get it fixed. So, he was just going to come in and do his clothes there. You get everybody. When I came in one day, one lady had every single washer on one side completely full. She was doing her entire household at one time. It was convenient for her.”
McGinnis has been surprised by how respectful her customers have been. She said one patron grabbed her personal broom out of her car to sweep up a small amount of dirt.

“We’ve got some wonderful people. Who does that? When you live in a small town, that’s the benefit of it,” McGinnis said.
McGinnis is not from Hokes Bluff, but after living there for over 20 years, she considers it her hometown. Her husband and his brother (Cindy’s husband) grew up in Hokes Bluff.
According to McGinnis, the best part of the business is meeting all the people who come in and being able to provide a needed service to the area.
The laundromat officially opened August 10 and McGinnis and Cindy hope to do a ribbon cutting in the future. The laundromat is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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