“We started Soaps N Suds with the goal of creating an older-style laundromat feel, with a lounge area and snacks, but in the contemporary age. We wanted it to be safe, quiet, clean and have a nice atmosphere,” says George Polyzos, Soaps N Suds vice president of operations. George and his brother Anthony Polyzos opened their first Soaps n Suds in Hampton in 1987. There are now 30 locations, with 130 employees on staff.
“We focus on the team approach. We have jobs for cleanliness, operations and services; it takes different jobs to accomplish all the tasks. Often when a washing machine breaks, we have it fixed by the next day, thanks to these different staff roles,” George says.
Soaps N Suds offers not only a modern laundromat but also a touch-free Auto Spa, which provides eco-friendly car washes every day of the year. The Auto Spa is automatic, with different packages and prices to meet customers’ needs. The touch-free car wash cleans a customer’s automobile in as few as five minutes, which can easily be accomplished while clothes are being washed.
When the Polyzos brothers opened their first Soaps N Suds, working together was not a question. “I started this business with my brother, but we had always worked together our whole lives. We operated a pizza business before this. It’s been a good experience working in a family business; it’s all I have ever known,” George says.
The brothers’ modern laundromat idea took off as they spread across the greater Hampton Roads area. “We try to make our locations convenient based on where customers live,” George says, explaining the approach to bringing their services to the community. He is hopeful for the company’s future. “We are a regional company, and we want to look to areas that do not yet have our services, such as Chesapeake or Suffolk,” he says.
Part of being a modern laundromat includes meeting people’s differing needs. “Our stores can be 8,000 square feet, with hundreds of machines and dryers with different size and load capabilities. We want people to be able to use whatever they need,” George says. Care for customers is one of his favorite parts about his job and the company. “Every day is a little different since there are so many parts,” he says. “I have also seen some customers since 1987, and have watched their kids grow up,” he says with a smile.
If someone has a king size blanket or banquet tablecloths, their machines can handle them. One customer’s dryer broke the day her family of six left after visiting for a week at Thanksgiving. She took all the towels and linens to Soaps N Suds, where the on-site employee washed, dried and professionally folded everything for same day pickup.
When George is not working with Soaps N Suds, he likes to visit the gym. “It’s important to stay strong as you get older. I try to go to the gym five or six days a week,” he says.
Despite his job as vice president of operations of 30 locations, Polyzos makes sure to find time for himself. The Polyzos brothers’ family business goal is to provide the community with a modern and safe laundromat, answering a community need.
Soaps N Suds is a 24/7 operation, ready to service the community with its washing needs, all in one modern and clean location.
TO THE POINT:
Soaps N Suds
Address: 776 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News, VA. 23601
Contact: George Polyzos, vice president of operations
Business: Laundromat and car wash