Ashford Cleaners
By YP Contributor

All in the Family

When Peter Accardi and his brothers were teens, they used to make deliveries for his father’s Danforth dry cleaning store all the time. Now that he and his older brother Lou run Ashford Cleaners in Forest Hill, not that much has changed.

“My dad was in business with my uncle and mom, and after that location was dissolved, my brother, parents and I scouted Toronto for a new spot,” Peter recalls. “We’d pick a corner and just sit and watch the traffic going by.”

In 1988, they settled on a rental space near Eglinton Avenue and Avenue Road, just because they felt a connection there. For a decade, the brothers built the clientele for Ashford Cleaners. Then, when an opportunity to buy their own building just three blocks west came up, they jumped at the chance.

When you pick up your clothes, they should look as crisp and clean as possible. - Peter Accardi, owner
Ashford Cleaners

Exposure and Convenience

Now that Ashford is on a busy corner, there is more exposure, Peter says, pointing out that the building also has parking. “People come in with big orders and they need to be able to stop by. Our business is in and out, often within five minutes, so it has to be convenient.”

Peter and his team – 25 staff including alteration specialists, dry cleaners, garment pressers, laundry shirt experts, delivery drivers and counter girls – do everything they can to ensure that convenience.

After renovating the space, the Accardis built an addition in the back so that dry cleaning can be done in-house. That’s where you’ll find two dry clean machines, six pressers and finishing pressers, a shirt department and a hand ironing room.

While Peter acts as manager, Lou is the stain removal expert, and their mom is a staple in the large department dedicated to alterations.

Overall, the place has a boutique feel, with top-notch service and sleek, clean lines that’s nothing like your typical dry cleaners.

Ashford Cleaners

The Personal Touch

“We charge more for special services that many of our clients want,” Peter says. For example, when they package clothes, they retain the shape by stuffing the shoulders with tissues, hand pressing the shirts, and adding butterflies as collar support and studs for French cuffs. “When you pick up your clothes, they should look as crisp and clean as possible,” Peter says.

Clients can also pay for door-to-door delivery service, which Peter will sometimes take on personally. In fact, he’s been known to respond to calls or e-mails on his smartphone outside of business hours to make sure his clients are happy.

“I’ve delivered wedding dresses to Nova Scotia before, and even clean clothes to a client’s hotel room in Toronto before she arrived. Our main goal is to service our customers’ needs, and if we have to go out of our way to do it, we do,” Peter says. “That’s what customer service means.”

Ashford Cleaners
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