Dry-cleaning depot keeps on chugging in Fairfield
Housed in the northbound and southbound sides of the Fairfield Railroad Station are branches of Fabricare Cleaners, one of only a few dry-cleaning services in the state that caters to commuters.
Customers can drop off dirty laundry at the Fairfield location before boarding the train to work and pick up clean clothing on the way home that same day.
Owner Michael Astorino has created a convenient, time-saving system. All credit card information for customers is on file so there are few cash transactions.
Dawn Diaz, who manages the train station locations, said regular customers get speedier service.
"If I see them getting off the train, I get their order ready and put their slip in the bag," she said. "I try to make it as easy as possible."
So does Astorino. His other stores at 312 Heights Road in Darien and 2130 Post Road in Fairfield are open seven days a week.
The company also offers home pick-up and delivery service throughout most of Fairfield County.
Astorino, who has worked in the dry-cleaning business for two decades, bought the train station sites about three years ago to augment his existing company.
"I like the flexibility and the challenges of growing my own business," said Astorino, who started with the Darien store and then added a main office in Norwalk before opening in Fairfield. They now have seven trucks that travel throughout most of Fairfield County.
"It's less expensive to run a delivery company than a retail store. The rents are so high," he said.
The eco-conscious Astorino uses an alternative method to traditional dry cleaning for clothing care, including state-of-the-art technology that allows Fabricare to clean clothes with biodegradable solvents and ozone technology.
Currently, the company's biggest initiative is an effort to eliminate all plastic bags by Earth Day 2011 in April.
Fabricare provides each customer with an eco-friendly garment bag to pick up clean clothes.
The bag easily converts into a tote for dirty clothes drop off.
Fabricare Cleaners is about to introduce a shoe shine and repair service. For a full list of services, visit www.fabricarecleaners.net, or call 203-256-2725.