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by Samantha Tkachuk Success through the Generations


NORTH PARK CLEANERS


Rick Lamanna spent much of his youth running around the fl oors of his father’s Toronto dry cleaning shop. A love for the business and an entrepreneurial spirit gave Lamanna the confi dence to open his own North Park Cleaners store in the heart of Woodbridge during the early 1990s. Since that time, he has taken over as the company’s owner and CEO, building the company into a national brand.


EVOLVING INDUSTRY AND NEW OPPORTUNITIES North Park Cleaners was initially built on retail dry clean- ing, until a contractor offered Lamanna an opportunity to complete a restoration order. A few jobs later, he quickly realized this was something he could do. “As I watched the dry cleaning industry evolve, I knew there was ample opportunity to grow into something large,” said Lamanna, “I have always had goals and


wanted to be a part of some- thing that provided not only structure, but also opportunity which would allow me to grow my business into something that would surpass beyond my wildest dreams.” That fi rst order was over 20 years ago. Lamanna had the desire to become a national player in the restoration indus- try and quickly became rec- ognized as a Canadian com- petitor. “After learning about the possibility for dry cleaning services in the insurance indus- try, I put together a business plan that would gain North Park recognition in the insur- ance world,” said Lamanna, “I quickly learned about CRDN and their principles, values and national presence.” He said North Park Cleaners grew to hold 70% of the market share of


Lamanna and his operations manager Stefano Gallucci learned what worked (and didn’t) for other restoration companies. “Rick and I trav- elled across Canada to visit other textile restoration opera- tors for the purpose of cri- tiquing and sharing best prac- tices,” said Gallucci.


Lamanna then turned to Lou


the restoration business in Toronto, so it was a per- fect match when CRDN was searching for someone to take over their Toronto and GTA franchise.


STATE-OF-THE-ART FACILITY Even before acquiring the CRDN franchise, the success and growth of North Park Cleaners required a larg- er plant. Lamanna jumped at the opportunity to con- solidate his two operations under one roof, constructing a 20,000+-square-foot state- of-the-art facility. Having been exposed to other plants,


Top: Items ready for bagging; a Sankosha automatic bagging machine in background. Below: 1. Rick Lamanna, Lou Mignardi, Stefano Gallucci. 2. Rick Lamanna – Winner of the 2016 Top Choice Award for Top Dry Cleaning Services, and Lou Mignardi.


Mignardi, national sales man- ager for Dalex, to complete the design and layout of the new plant. Inspired by Rick’s vision, Mignardi completed the proj- ect in eight months, propos- ing a new Sankosha double- buck and automatic bagging machine, and an Imesa wet cleaning system. “With the new equipment, I assured Rick that the 12 hours per day it was taking him to produce his existing dry cleaning workload would be drastically reduced, while subsequently increasing his productivity,” explained Mignardi. Even with a signifi- cant growth in volume from the franchise acquisition, the plant runs only eight hours a day.


Other technology and equip- ment added to the plant include a Colmac steam tunnel used for restoration items; a SonicAire lint remover eliminating 99% of lint in the plant; an in-house designed software tracking sys- tem using bar code technology; an ozone room for deodorizing; and an oversized boiler room where water is pulled from the dry cleaning machines and put into a holding tank to later feed both wet cleaning and laundry machines. The plant’s water consumption has been reduced by over 50% using this recyc- ling system.


“With our newest acquisi- tion of the CRDN franchise, we have been able to test the capacity of our facility. We meet and surpass standards that are not only local but are also standards set nationally,” said Gallucci.


POSITIVE IMPACT 1 14 FABRICARE CANADA May/June 2016 2


Since taking over the Toronto and GTA territory for CRDN, North Park Cleaners has grown to over 50 employees, includ-


Continued on page 16


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