New City Cleaners has had a long and prestigious history of serving the people of Kern County and beyond. It’s a patient and steady dedication to quality and service that has set the 105-year-old specialty cleaning business apart, and possibly been the secret of its success and longevity.
When Martin Fetchner founded City Cleaners in 1910 at its current location, it was on the outskirts of town. Garments were picked up and delivered by horse and buggy. After Charles DeCew and Jay Mahler purchased City Cleaners in 1914, the route service continued even when a street-car system was installed on Chester Avenue and Eighth Street. At that time, a call office was added and the name was changed to New City Cleaners.
Henry and Esther Brandt purchased New City Cleaners in 1944 and so began the line of family ownership that continues today. The most extensive remodeling was done in 1966 when five different areas of the business were placed under one roof.
Jarrell Epp, the grandson of the Brandts, took a leap of faith with his savings and bought New City Cleaners from his grandparents in 1986. Epp found that he would have to prove that he could keep the same level of quality his grandfather’s customers had come to expect. Brandt took the time to very successfully transfer not only the business, but the ideal of upholding quality as the top priority.
In 1989, Epp married Amanda Schatzel and the couple carried on the family tradition of running the business as a husband and wife team. She worked as the office manager until they started their family and they now have five children.
New dry-cleaning machines were installed in 1992 in order to continue using Stoddard solvent. Although cheaper solvents have been introduced to the industry, they have come at a cost to the environment and quality and New City has stayed true to what it knows is safe and works the best.
In 1996, New City Cleaners opened a second store at Coffee and Truxtun, and, in 2006, a third store was opened at the corner of 24th and L streets. In addition, New City Cleaners operates three residential and commercial routes that serve the greater Bakersfield area. They’re a full service drycleaners and can do smoke, fire, and water restoration orders in a customer’s time of loss.
Epp believes in giving back and is active in the Rotary Club of Bakersfield Downtown, is a member of the board for the Bakersfield Rescue Mission, Salvation Army, and National Cleaners Association. He and Marketing Manager, Lesley Reneau, sponsor events like CSUB mixers, boutique fashion shows, Stars Dinner Theatre, the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, and sponsor and handle the cleaning needs of the Condors, Jam, and Blaze.
In 2010, the company celebrated 100 years of business and was, again, commended by the Mayor. As the second-oldest dry-cleaning operation in the state, New City Cleaners is on the cutting-edge of cleaning technology but maintains a superior level of quality that can only be found in a long-time, family-owned business.
New City Cleaners – Established 1910
1201 24th Street , Bakersfield CA, 661-324-9414
600 Coffee Road , Bakersfield CA, 661-397-8900