Same-Day Service in by 9:00am, ready by 5:00pm, in New Milford, CT.
Talking to Roberta and Paul Bagley, one gets the sense that these are two people who genuinely enjoy what they do. Obvious “people” people. Paul is fond of describing how he was literally born into the business, showing off the photo of himself at three months, cradled in his mother’s arms, as she stands next to his father and older sister in front of the family dry cleaning business in Flint, Michigan. It’s not that Paul and Roberta would actually bleed GreenEarth, but dry cleaning is such a part of their lives that the hard work that so many complain about is the easy part for them.
Of course, Paul keeps abreast of the latest techniques in the industry and has earned Certified Professional Drycleaner (CPD) and Certified Environmental Drycleaner (CED) designations from the International Fabricare Institute.
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However, the secret ingredient that makes the Bagleys’ business a success is service. “There are no secrets in dry cleaning,” Roberta said. “It all comes down to the service you provide and the relationships you build with your customers. You have to make them feel special and be there for them if they have any problems.”
That’s why the Bagleys give customers their home phone number, in case of emergencies. “I think you have to be available,” Paul said. “I know that some cleaners have unlisted phone numbers, and that upsets me.”
Growing up in the business, Paul learned early that it isn’t just about business. It’s his life. Upon graduating from high school, Paul worked in his father’s business for 13 years. Then, more than 43 years ago, Paul and Roberta went out on their own. They began with Village Green Cleaners in New Milford, CT in 1973. When they purchased Ship Shape in 1975, they operated both as plants and stores, and even had a third plant at one time. Today, the Bagleys operate Village Green as a drop store and Ship Shape, located in a shopping center setting, as their main plant and store.
Service has always been the primary ingredient in the Bagley’s recipe for success. As a rule, new customers receive a complimentary gift, and all customers who bring in items before 10:30 a.m. at the Brookfield and 9:00 at the New Milford location are automatically guaranteed to have them cleaned by 4 p.m., or they don’t pay.
Paul and Roberta will do whatever it takes to better serve their customers. At both their locations the Bagleys utilize a state-of-the-art computer system. “It helps prevents losses and keep our automatic same-day delivery promise,” Paul said. “Our dry cleaning equipment is new and has all the safety features necessary to protect our employees and customers and the environment.”
Ship Shape’s drop-off bag system is a value-added convenience that allows customers to spend less time in the store. Customers’ bags are labeled with identifying nametags, so their orders may be processed without them having to wait. “When they come back for their garments, everything is ready and billed accordingly,” said Paul. Customers may take advantage of direct billing to their credit card, which means even speedier service.