Small Business Spotlight: Sudslingers Laudromat

Small businesses are important to communities and running a small business is tough work. That’s why we feature a small business in one of our communities every month!   

Mark Erslan, Todd Wesaw (Sudslingers), Nicole Scott

Sudslingers Laundromat owner Todd Wesaw is pictured at center with VCNB Head of Lending Mark Erslan and Bremen Branch Manager Nicole Scott. 

For our Small Business Spotlight this month we’re doing a Q&A with Todd Wesaw of Sudslingers Laundromat, Bremen’s newest business! Read on to learn more about the exciting and unexpected things happening at Sudslingers!

VCNB:  Hi Todd!  When sifting through ideas for our September entry in our Business Spotlight Series, our Bremen Branch Manager Nicole Scott suggested we talk to you about Sudslingers Laundromat.  After discussing how exciting it is that a new business has entered the market in the small Village of Bremen, we thought this would be a great feature.  So, that said, why don’t you give me a little background on how Sudslingers came to be? And why Bremen, Ohio?

Todd: As a resident of Bremen since 2005 and a current Village Councilman it’s my job to look at ways of growing our community and expanding resources for our fellow residents. I am always looking for opportunities to bring new business to our Village so I decided to take the leap.  When I encourage new companies to consider Bremen as their location, I felt it would hold more water if my own business was located there.

When I decided to start Sudslingers Laundromat, I considered the population as well as the residents that may rent in the area and not have access to washers and dryers.  Plus the fact that is has been approximately twelve years since there was a Laundromat in Bremen.  Residents were having to travel to surrounding towns, so why not have a local Laundromat that is convenient and here in the Village open daily 8 a.m.-9 p.m.?

The idea was to start Sudslingers Laundromat here close to my home so I could educate myself about the business and hopefully grow into a chain of them with the same concept. As I started my research to determine my offerings, size, location, layout etc., my friend Kevin Newman asked if he could get involved. Since I have other businesses and am holding a Council position, I thought that it would be good to have a partner that could help share the responsibilities, so our partnership came together. Kevin is a truck driver over the road so, with his schedule, it works out that we share opening/closing and daily maintenance.

After putting all the ideas together, the build-out began. I wanted it to be big enough but not too big for this area so I decided to start out with six washers and six dryers. I chose machines that could fit into the budget I had available but could accommodate more than one load of laundry.  After all the planning and testing, we decided to open May 1, 2018.

VCNB:  It sounds like you had a good handle on the business before it ever came to be because of the work you put in beforehand.  Give us a rundown on the business itself – one may hear “Laundromat” and have an image in their head of what they think it is, but we can tell that you are really breaking the old model of this type of business.

Todd: I did not want a typical laundromat like the ones I grew up seeing or using while in college, where you dreaded the laundry piling up only to go to the bank to get change, arrive and sit and be bored for hours, waiting for my chance to start laundry at a dreary and, most of the time, dirty place to the point you felt you needed a tetanus shot after you left!

As part of my planning process, I decided I wanted a place that is inviting, family oriented and, as some of our guests say, “A place to go and get away from the home and relax.” So I decided to build an environment that offers modern conveniences such as climate controlled air, black stainless LG high efficiency/low energy washers and dryers, LED lighting with multiple colors, etc. The floors are exposed concrete and we’ve got exposed lighting, distressed woodwork, a ceiling fan, wrought iron seating tables and chairs, folding tables, and a flat screen TV with cable.  We’ve even got a backyard area with picnic table.  We have a bill coin changer that accepts ones and five dollar bills in-house and we recently added free WiFi for our guests.  They will soon be able to use the WiFi features that our washers and dryers are equipped with!  Guests will be able to download an app to monitor their laundry, which gives them the freedom to enjoy the seating or picnic area, or just leave and comeback as their laundry is complete.

Our walls are decorated in historic images of Bremen and some entertaining signs. We also offer a restroom that is ADA compliant.

The washers start out at $5.00 per load, depending on the size, and that price includes free drying. If you choose to wash at home or elsewhere, we recently added a Dryer Deposit Box for our guests that just need drying for $2.50 per dryer. We currently don’t offer soap and bleach products, however we are planning to add a vending machine that will have these products.  We’d also like to add a beverage machine as the business grows. We do offer pick up and drop off service by appointment only or you can schedule us to come to you and we will do your laundry for you.  These services are at an additional cost and prices vary.

VCNB:  It’s definitely a clean, modern, and well-kept facility and an asset to Bremen.  Do you have any big plans for Sudslingers in 2019?

Todd: Our goals for the future include adding highly visible signage, vending machines, and additional equipment. We’ll be joining the Bremen Area Chamber of Commerce and possibly even adding one to two new locations.

 

VCNB:  We’ll be keeping an eye on it!  We’re always thrilled to see new, thriving businesses in our market areas and we are thrilled when they choose to bank with VCNB.  We thank you for your business, Todd, and wish all the best to Sudslingers!  Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Todd: Thank you VCNB for the opportunity to share information about Sudslingers Laundromat with you and your other banking customers, and helping us bring Sudslingers Laundromat to Bremen!

We are proud to be a doing business with VCNB and Friendly Bremen Banking Center.  I would also like to personally thank Nicole Scott, Mark Erslan, Kathryn Cooper, and all of the staff and to you for featuring Sudslingers Laundromat for your September Business Spotlight.

Please like us on Facebook and check us out on Google. We are always updating the latest information about Sudslingers Laundromat and have it available at both of these online resources. Come check us out to see why we offer “Loads of Fun” and if you are a regular guest, please hurry back!

We will announce our grand opening in the near future.

 

 

 

 

 

Small Business Spotlight: Rushcreek Feed & Supply

Being a small business owner is a tough job. That’s why we spotlight a different business each month to help you learn about unique businesses in your own back yard.

rushcreek-feed-supply

Rushcreek Feed & Supply is a landmark in Bremen that has been evolving to meet the needs of customers for over fifty years.

“You have to change with the times,” Rushcreek Feed & Supply owner Bob Pontious repeated.  “You have to.”

This gentleman would know. He has weathered much change in his business, his town and the economy for over five decades. In 1961, Bob and four other Bremen area farmers partnered to purchase the Brown-Burnworth Company, which included office space and a mill that operated out of facilities constructed in the mid and late 1800’s.  The five farmers organized and began operating what is now known as Rushcreek Feed & Supply, a mill that processes and creates seed and mix for the agricultural community.

The business has seen various incarnations of the ownership group but Bob, who just celebrated his 92nd birthday, has remained the only constant and is the sole owner to this day.  His business has continuously evolved, installing new machinery, adopting new processes, and acquiring property to allow growth and efficiency, allowing them to stand out as a staple in rural small town living.

Bremen has seen much change during the last several decades and much of the change has resulted in loss. Bob said that several auto dealers have come and gone and the rail system that once rolled within ten feet of Rushcreek Feed’s building has disappeared.   The cheese factory that existed years ago that was supplied by local dairy farms is long gone.  The number of dairy farms in the area has dwindled from thirty or forty in the 1960’s and 70’s to just two. The number of local hog farms is now down to about ten.  As more folks have moved toward green farming and the landscape of the agricultural industry changes, the needs of the customer have changed.  “It used to be cattle, chickens, and pigs.  Everything was operated by hand,” Manager Terry Bell said matter-of-factly.  “But you have to meet the needs of your clientele.  You really have to diversify.”

“We used to have folks bring in truckloads or trailers of whole ears of corn, which we’d unload by shovel or hand.”  Terry explained.  “Now there’s a hoist and dump pit.  We used to bag feed by hand in 100 pound bags.  That was it – that was all we had.  But we’ve installed a bagging system for 50 pound bags.”

By streamlining seemingly simple processes and taking the “work smarter” approach, Terry says Rushcreek Feed and Supply has been able to expand their facilities, services and offerings.  For example, a warehouse was constructed and a neighboring plot of land was purchased, which included several buildings that now serve as workshops and storage for equipment and inventory.  The old mill was just redone this summer, and within the last five years they’ve added to their custom fertilization capabilities with a new truck and a new sprayer.  Last summer, they installed seventy foot scales to better accommodate semis upon weighing in/out.  Their secret Rushcreek Deer Plot Mix was created and is a hit for deer season, with customers from as far as Pennsylvania and New York ordering regularly.  And recently, they became a licensed dealer for “The Stump,” a long-window weather resistant hunting blind by Banks Outdoors.  As only one of a handful of dealers in the state, they actually keep them in stock so they are ready to go out the door upon purchase.  Terry said that none of this would be possible without their expanded facilities.  “We were running out of room.”

The expansion and rock-steady quality service are due in large part to a great group of people working for their team, Terry said.  “We’ve got our locals (customers).  But we’ve also got people from Franklin, Licking, Meigs, Athens, Muskingum Counties that are regulars.”   Customers are getting quality products, but it’s the quality service from the twelve Rushcreek Feed & Supply employees that make the sustained success possible.  “It works because we’ve got a great staff” Terry added.

If you’d like to visit Rushcreek Feed & Supply, they’re located at 103 S. Broad Street in Bremen, just across the parking lot from our Friendly Bremen Banking Center.  They can be contacted at 740.569.4105 and can be found on Facebook and at their own website  http://www.rushcreekfeed.com/.

See more images from our visit to Rushcreek Feed & Supply in the slideshow below.

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