Laundry service booming



By Becca Clemons

A business started by UK grad students and alumni is giving students a break from one of the most dreaded parts of college life–doing laundry.

Fresh Laundry Service is a business that picks up, washes, dries, folds and delivers laundry for students living in UK dorms or surrounding houses and apartment complexes. Fresh’s website describes it as a service “designed to help make college students more productive.”

“Doing laundry is a real task,” Fresh CEO Garrett Ebel said.

Ebel said his company can help save students an average of two hours a week–time that could be spent studying, improving grades, getting involved on campus or hanging out with friends.

The business began in June with Ebel and chief financial officer Aaron Fons, who wanted to provide an affordable and helpful service for students. The Fresh team expanded to include chief operating officer Luke Murray, marketing director Lauren Fleming and freshman Matt Storrs.

Fresh did about 600 pounds of laundry over the summer as it started up, Fons said.

With choices of signing a semester-long contract or using the service on an as needed basis, Fresh picks up laundry at a scheduled time that is convenient for the customer and brings it back within 24 hours. Customers are given a “Freshbag” and can deposit as much laundry as they want. Contracts offer weekly and biweekly rates with flexibility., According to the company’s website, as-needed washing costs $1.50 per pound

“Not only will we do your laundry for you but we will do it better than you could even possibly do it yourself,” Fons said.

Fresh is run with its five “core values” in mind–“Fresh, Flawless laundry … delivered Fast, by Friends having Fun.”

“Any activity you can think of is a better time than doing laundry,” Fons said. “Everybody needs laundry done at some point.  It’s just a big hassle.”

Fresh is for students who may not have the time or who may not even know how to do their own laundry, he said.

“When you take into consideration the cost of detergent, water, electricity and the time you spend doing your laundry, the price you pay for this great service is well worth the investment,” current Fresh customer Evan Blanford said.

As it grows, Fresh’s goal is to focus on the dorm population, Ebel said. The business has also serviced residents in Lexington.

“In terms of our customers, we’ve got the whole spectrum,” Ebel said. “Our target customer is hopefully going to be the student.”

Fresh is planning to partner with local laundromats that will offer machines to the company for discounted prices, Ebel said.

“We’re really doing it to help the students,” Ebel said. “We’re doing this so that we can offer a great service, but we also want to build our own business skills with dreams of starting a larger company someday. Starting small and learning is a hands-on way to do that.”