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Family footsteps at Star Cleaners

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BELLEVUE, TN (WSMV) - It’s a never ending job in hot, sweaty, conditions during the summer. It sounds like a recipe for failure, until you meet the family behind a Bellevue business that treats their customers like stars.  

When you walk into Star Cleaners in Bellevue, TN you are greeted by a wall of fame that reminds you that professional athletes, famous musicians. and legendary broadcasters have all had their dry cleaning done here.  

"My dad will get here early in the morning and turn on all the machines,” said Chan Kwak.  Kwak’s parents were born in South Korea and own Star Cleaners off Highway 70 near Old Hickory Boulevard. News 4 was given a tour of the dry cleaning business, which features several high-tech automated machines that clean clothing and give garments a well-pressed look.

"Dry cleaning items, laundry items. And after all the cleaning process... we go to the steam and the press process,” said Kwak. He added, it’s one of reasons customers keep coming back. Kwak took us to the rear of the cleaners, where his mother was working on the hot press machines. Temperatures can reach well over 100 degrees in parts of the building. Several customers told News 4 how much they’ve appreciate the family’s hard work over the years.

Chan said his family barely survived the recession. So they changed their business model after 2008 to focus on customer service, a move that helped save their investment. Chan jokingly admits that the fast pace work environment and pressure to succeed sometimes leads to family  squabbles. "You know, we get into fights. But, I haven't been fired yet,” Chan said.

Because of his limited English, Chan's father was reluctant to do an on-camera interview. But customer Deidre Wilson explained how just a few words from Chan’s father made a big difference in her life. "I had lost my husband not too long ago and the father knew him and saw that I was down and out at one point. And he said you know what? It's going to be all right. He Just said It's going to be all right. And I didn't have to say a word. So ever since then I've just been a fan."

Customers say the family is polite, friendly, and courteous. Adding, that goes a long way in a world that never seems to slow down long enough to ask how you’re doing. Star Cleaners is located near Highway 70 and Old Hickory Blvd in The Kroger shopping plaza.  

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Anchor

Tom Randles is an award-winning reporter and anchor for News4 since 2006.

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