[In photos : Joyce Ure in the Cudney’s plant on Aletta Street; Gatha Fair explains the dry-cleaning “ATM” at the Weibel Avenue Cudney’s; employee Priest Franklin at a shirt-press machine; the Weibel Avenue location as decorated with wall art by Cudney’s driver Steve Burr. Photos by Larry Goodwin.]
SARATOGA SPRINGS — After twenty years of dedicated effort, Joyce Ure is more than ready to take the helm of Cudney’s Cleaners.
“I am so thrilled. I’ve known her since she was a teenager,” stated Lynette Whaley, whose father James Cudney started the popular dry-cleaning business in 1952.
Ure is “very organized and efficient,” Whaley added.
On April 14, Ure finalized paperwork at the Adirondack Trust Company that officially makes her the new owner of Cudney’s.
Cudney’s, which operates in five locations spread across the city and Wilton, claims a solid reputation as “Saratoga’s eco-friendly dry cleaner.”
Ure first met Whaley and started working at the business in 1997. She said Cudney’s customers will notice very little difference in the day-to-day operations.
For about 10 years, Ure has basically managed Cudney’s while Whaley focused on her role as director of personnel development at Saratoga Springs High School. Ure lives in Northumberland with her husband Joe and one of their two sons.
Whaley said she plans to retire from the school district this summer to spend more time with her family.
Ure realized long ago how much customers appreciate the dry cleaning and laundry services provided by Cudney’s. “We’re all so busy,” she said. “It’s worthwhile and it’s convenient.”
With support from 28 employees, including her mother Sandy Pellock, Ure is confident that the laundry needs of 3,000 active customers will be met as professionally as ever.
The business invested in computer software, she explained, that tracks each individual clothing item dropped off with bar codes, as well as modern machines that keep the garments moving and maximize employee health and productivity.
Cudney’s even purchased machines that bag the final product. Such technology has “made our lives a whole lot easier,” Ure said.
“It’s my baby,” offered 42-year Cudney’s employee Nancy Bean, referring to the conveyor machine. “It beats bagging.”
In the Cudney’s Weibel Avenue location, Ure said apartment renters in the area find the dry-cleaning “ATM” machine quite convenient whenever employee Gatha Fair locks the main doors. That machine has 24-hour access.
Plus, according to Ure, the chemical solvents now used in dry cleaning activities are far safer for the environment than they were years ago.
“The thing that I like most is that I do something different every day,” Ure added, noting how it’s not uncommon for her to leave the management duties aside and hop in one of Cudney’s trucks to deliver orders.
“We’ve always given back to the community. That’s what keeps me coming to work every day,” Ure said.