Monday, March 26, 2018

pancakePROFILE: Laundré

Laundré 2401 Mission Street

A little while back, I had the pleasure of meeting, Ariana, the founder/owner of Laundré. For those of you who aren't familiar, Laundré is a dope laundromat meets café (meets flower shop, meets general hang out spot for those in the know).  Located on the corner of Mission and 20th, Laundré offers its patrons a sustainable laundromat experience, as well as an open space to work, drink coffee, and hang. I visited the space when it opened late last year and loved getting to hear Ariana's story. Because I am self-employed, myself, it's always inspiring to meet others who have made the leap towards entrepreneurship, as well as those who are passionate about their work and craft. Every now and then, I like to feature movers and shakers, as well as local community members in SF in a little something I call "pancakePROFILES." Today you get a sticky sweet & inspiration-filled stack featuring none other than Ariana, herself. After the jump, learn more about Laundré and its founder.

First things first - introduce yourself. Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you’re from.

Hi! I’m Ariana. I’ve lived in SF for 8 years and am a Bay Area native.  I come from a merchandise marketing background but more importantly am a huge lover of mozzarella in any form.

A lady who loves her cheese. I can get down with that as a cheese-lover myself. Tell me, what inspired you to open Laundré?

I had a series of unfortunate laundromat experiences while in college and thought that the overall experience could be better. For my college senior project, I proposed the concept of a laundromat + cafe. It was then that the laundry industry really sparked my interest and a year later, I quit my job in the fashion industry to pursue opening Laundré.

Why did you decide to open Laundré in San Francisco, and what drew you to the Mission?

I thought that San Francisco was the right fit for Laundré given that it's a city that is always looking to improve existing business models. It welcomes new technology and quality which I aimed to incorporate in Laundré.

I love the Mission. It’s alive with diversity, culture and inspiring small businesses. I feel lucky to be among them. The neighborhood is also made up of primarily renters which means that most people don’t have access to in-unit/building laundry facilities making it an ideal location for us. It was important to be easily accessible but I also needed a larger space to house both concepts successfully. There are only a handful of neighborhoods that offer both. The Mission being one of them.

Speaking of the Mission, what's your favorite foodie spot in the neighborhood?

I love 20 Spot! They do such a great job and I love the vibe in there. Perfect after a long day at the laundry lab.

What differentiates Laundré from your typical laundromat or cafe/coffee shop?

Well, at first glance I’d say the cafe component is the most apparent difference but to me, the washers and dryers are the real MVPs. They’re top of the line and unlike any other commercial laundry machines. They save water (big plus!), get you in and out in half the time, and take care of your garments while they’re spinning. We’re also the only full Electrolux store in San Francisco.

And, what kind of impact are you hoping Laundré will make on the local community?

I’d love for Laundré to be a hub for people to gather, work and create. Already I’ve met some incredible people from the neighborhood and beyond. Its been such a great experience to get to know them over the last couple months and am excited to meet more!

What’s the most important piece of advice you received before opening up Laundré, and who gave it to you?

I’m lucky to have a great network of friends who were all very helpful to me along the way. Advice came to me at different stages throughout the process and although I’d say the overarching theme that stuck with me was to not doubt yourself or your idea.

What's your advice for someone who wants to open up or run their own business?

It's one of the most fulfilling things you can do and I encourage those who have an idea to pursue it. Most of the time it's not very glamorous and there are many highs and lows, but the tiny victories are ones to celebrate.

And last, but certainly not least, (because I ask all my pancakePROFILE participants) what is your favorite pancake "flavor" and why? :)

Lemon ricotta!

Special thanks to Ariana for taking the time to answer my questions, and for inviting me into her beautiful space. I hope you all have a chance to check out the beautiful spot that she's created in the community. You can get your wash on seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.


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