McCafferty's Cleaners closes, cites covid-19
Last updated 2/21/2022 at 6:43pm | View PDF
McCafferty's Cleaners & Laundry, after more than 23 years as a staple in the Wasco community, will shut its doors on Feb. 28.
"If covid had not hit, we would still be in business," said owner Martin Tapia. As the only dry cleaner in Wasco, they filled a void by providing a quality and affordable service.
Tapia explained many people work from home now and no longer need to bring in their work clothes. Also, financial restraints and the economic downturn because of covid prevented residents from having the money to pay for dry cleaning.
"It affected everybody. We tried to stay in business, but if finally caught up with us," he said.
In 1999 Tapia's father bought the business from Bill and Arlene Wooley. Martin Tapia took over the company in 2015. Together they have over 50 years of experience in the dry cleaning industry. They have lost employees throughout the years, leaving only Tapia and his parents to run the shop.
As a family-owned business with no employees and insufficient revenue, they could not secure any bank loans. Also, they did not qualify for government assistance.
"It was a difficult decision. We could not stay afloat," Tapia said. "The best part of our business undoubtedly are our customers. They are great people, and it was an honor to serve them with their dry cleaning needs. We are going to miss our clients very much."
Some of their biggest clients included the California Highway Patrol and the Kern County Sheriff's Office that brought in their uniforms, the City of Shafter Police Department where they cleaned all of their blankets for the jail, and West Side Family Fellowship, where they took care of their linen.
Their closure will be a loss for local schools.
"We helped the Wasco High School cheerleaders buy their uniforms, sponsored football games, and even supported a local youth to attend an out-of-state wrestling competition," said Tapia.
In line with their charitable work, they will donate any unpicked-up clothing to the local Goodwill.
With their closing, there will no longer be a dry cleaning business for the residents of Wasco.
"Hopefully, the economy improves, and there will be another dry cleaning business that opens. It is going to be hard for those clients that relied on us to take care of their laundry needs," said Tapia.