Monday, May 9, 2011 | 3 a.m.
While working behind the counter at MC Cleaners, co-owner Angela Broways watches dozens of happy, and familiar, customers pass through her front door. Many know her by name, and some have been her customers for six years—as long as she’s been in business.
“Most of our customers come in from word of mouth,” Broways says, grabbing a bag of laundry from a patron. “When they have problems, some customers come in just to talk. It’s like family here.”
“Hi Bryan,” she says, smiling to a patron handing off a pile of white dress shirts to be starched. “He’s one of the guys in our photo for Yellow Pages.”
Makes sense, she says. He’s been a customer for years.
Broways moved to the United States more than three decades ago, when she left Nicaragua to escape political unrest as the Sandinistas were coming to power. She says, at the time, that she thought she’d stay in Las Vegas with her family for three months, then return home.
Not so much.
She was a housekeeper then housekeeping supervisor at Bally’s, where she worked for 26 years before opening her own shop, MC Cleaners on Las Vegas Boulevard South near the South Point six years ago.
Broways co-owns the cleaners with her husband, Marc, who was born in Paris. Their shop—clearly—is a multicultural destination.
Broways speaks Spanish with her employees. But she speaks mainly English to her customers and to her husband, a native French speaker.
Broways, although in a small shop, has some giant clients. Her business takes care of South Point’s linens and uniforms. When NASCAR comes to town, she’s the one who cleans the drivers’ uniforms. When the rodeo comes, she starches shirts and cleans dusty jeans.
“It’s only for a week, but it’s a very good week,” she says of NASCAR events, when she and her employees work 14-hour days. “They come back every year.”
Although 2010 was a hard year for MC Cleaners, business was steady. And, Broways says, 2011 is already showing signs of improvement.
The Las Vegas Boulevard address makes MC Cleaners easy to find, and increases her business’ visibility on Google and on the Strip, Broways says. That’s part of what she says she thinks brought NASCAR and the rodeo to her shop.
But, she says, repeat customers are the halmark of a good business.
Success comes from good service and reliability, as well as that extra-special, personal touch, Broways says. It may be a simple business model, but for MC Cleaners, it’s working like a charm.