Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber


For cleaners, this week marks the end of an era

June 25, 2013 · 3:11 PM

Joy Humphreys and her dog Shadow are set to retire from the dry cleaners and laundromat this week. / File Photo

After 25 years serving the island, Joy’s Village Cleaners will close its doors Friday.

Joy Humphreys owned the cleaners and laundromat with her husband George until he died last year, and  now, she said, it is time to move on.

“I decided I needed to retire,” she said last week. “I’m getting too old to do it by myself.

Indeed, Humphreys is 83, and the business had become too much, she told The Beachcomber earlier this year.

Her husband had been an electrician and an accountant, but when he died, all of the work of the business fell to her, she said, including trying to keep the aging equipment running and contending with unsavory characters that sometimes frequent the business. She put the building up for sale a few months ago, and decided to close it this month.

She had retirement plans with her husband, she said, but now she’ll have to create new ones.

“I will plant flowers or something,” she said.

Many have relied on Joy’s, the island’s only laundromat, for dry cleaning and the use of washers and driers. Now, some will have to go off-island to wash their clothes, something that Nancy Vanderpool of the Interfaith Council to Prevent Homelessness (IFCH) noted will likely create a hardship for those with limited incomes.

IFCH has provided people with quarters to do their laundry at Joy’s, Vanderpool said.

“There won’t be anything for them,” she said. “I am not sure what people will do now.”

The good news for islanders, according to the building’s listing agent, Denise Katz of Windermere, is that several people have expressed interest in the building, though a buyer may establish a business other than a laundromat there. Regardless, she expect activity soon.

“I think that we will see a sale sometime this summer,” she said.

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