Carol Kindred recalled the cleaners, located at 225 E. Center St., first opening in 1968. "Then it was a brand new. Arthur Ziegenhorn and Bob Lee had just built it and hired me to open it for them," she said. Kindred would continue working there for various owners until 1991.
Over those 20 plus years, her son, Phillip, would often spend time at the business. It was there he met his wife, Christi, who was employed at the business from 1988 to 1991.
"We should have had our wedding right here," said Christi Kindred with a laugh.
When the business closed, the Kindreds found themselves driving by and looking at the abandoned building. The family members gathered and discussed their options - Phillip Kindred was interested in starting his own business and Carol and Christi Kindred's background in the business would provide an excellent beginning.
"We knew too much about the business not to give it a try," said Phillip Kindred.
Added Christi Kindred: "This place has a lot of sentimental value, too."
It was that sentimental value that prompted the name. The new owners decided to honor the original owners, naming the business A&B Cleaners after Arthur Ziegenhorn and Bob Lee.
"We did that out of respect. They were not only good businessmen, but good men," said Carol Kindred. "Everyone thought so highly of them."
When the businessowners celebrate their grand opening on Feb. 28, they have invited the Ziegenhorn and Lee families to join them at the ribbon cutting.
Also the Kindreds said they will continue the tradition of service begun by those original owners.
"The customer will be satisfied at a price they can afford," said Carol Kindred. "And everything will be done to the customer's specifications."
Providing both laundry and dry cleaning services, she said laundry can be brought in and will be ready in one-day. One-hour service is available for dry cleaning brought in during the morning.
Also available is drapery service. Currently they have limited alteration services.
Carol Kindred explained A&B Cleaners will use Adco products, which are provided by a St. Louis-based company. "In my estimation they are the best," she said. "If there is a spot I can't handle, I just call their lab in St. Louis and they will walk me through the process to get it out."
A&B Cleaners is definitely a family business with Phillip Kindred's aunt and Carol Kindred's sister, Linda Jenkins, joining them in the operation. Also Christi Kindred emphasized they are a Christian-oriented business.
The word is getting out about the reopening of the cleaners. Christi Kindred noted that even as they worked to get the machinery in operation, customers would walk in and inquire about the services, some even left their laundry promising to pick it up on the first day A&B Cleaners opened for business.
"It really has been better than we expected," she said.
Phillip Kindred is already looking to the future, adding he would like to see A&B Cleaners soon offering pick up and delivery.
Now open and ready, customers can bring their laundry and dry cleaning to A&B Cleaners between 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
The business telephone number is 472-3665.