Lubowitz Consulting is proud to work with small businesses driven to inject some good into the world. ‘Spotlight on Business’ is our way of celebrating great Canadian small businesses, especially those that make it a priority to give back to their local communities.
Within a few kilometers of our home base is a place called Yummi Café Laundromat. Like many small businesses in Canada, the laundromat has been hit hard by the pandemic and has experienced financial losses. That’s what makes what happened next even more surprising.
Owner Nancy Seto noticed some of her clients skipping the dryer cycle when they came in to do their laundry. The reason? Hanging their laundry at home would save enough money to buy the basics for them and their families.
At the core of Nancy’s business is the belief that clean clothes are a right and not a privilege. Businesses like hers allow individuals and families who lack washers and dryers in their homes to clean their clothes and linens somewhere nearby. Anyone who has lugged a load of laundry down a set of stairs knows how heavy they can be. Doing laundry becomes an even bigger challenge when you have to trudge across your neighbourhood to complete each and every load.
Clean clothes are so important to us as human beings that multiple classroom studies have revealed a clear link between school attendance and access to affordable laundry facilities. As fitting in becomes more and more important to young people, the stigma of arriving at school without clean clothes can become a reason to stop showing up altogether. In schools where laundry facilities are available, attendance tends to shoot back up.
Which brings us back to Nancy. When she found out why her clients were skipping the dryer, she decided to help. She kicked off a go-fund me campaign to fund a free laundry program with the aim of raising enough money to distribute evenly between several laundromats across Toronto. She wanted to make sure that the money she raised would help people across the city and not just those within her own neighbourhood.
Nancy’s story is a welcome bit of light during a long and dark pandemic. She has made sure that Yummi Café Laundromat is not just a place to wash your clothes but a place that lifts up its neighbours, defends their dignity, and reminds us all to find our community spirit.
If you would like to learn more about Nancy and Yummi Café Laundromat, visit http://www.yummicafelaundry.com.
To support the Free Laundry Program, make a contribution here. The average per visit cost of a load of laundry is $5 for an individual or $20 for a family.