Four years ago a Nelson man born and bred, parked up his forklift for the last time , hung up his overalls and launched into business. Brian owner of Bubbles Laundrette has never looked back. “ I was in a job mentality but it’s about working for myself; working for a profit.” It made sense for Brian to purchase Bubbles Laundrette, not only as an existing business but the fact it is an essential service. And with the opportunity to live on site it was win-win for Brian financially. In the early days Brian ran the business totally self-service whilst working elsewhere part-time. But the juggling act became too much and he now runs the laundrette with a customer service focus as well. In writing this article I always associated laundrettes with holidaymakers but Brian says plenty of locals use the service because not everybody owns utilities, or if a washing -
machine breaks down and it’s convenient to drop off you laundry and pick it up later. Looking round while talking to Brian the place is humming with locals: a bevy of young girls laughing and hanging out, a gentleman reading the paper and sipping coffee while he waits for the load to finish. A real community feel. Brian says the obstacles he has to face is isolation and not actually owning the building which has its frustrations. As we talk on, and the machines switch cycles, Brian talks of his vision of expansion and the evolution of such essential services in our 21st century environment. He told me how he would dream on the forklift of getting out from the “job mentality” and he did. He is no longer driving that forklift, but he is definitely still dreaming.