It’s in the heart of the Plateau-Mont-Royal that Julie Valletta manages her Daoust Ecoefficient Cleaners branch. The cleaning franchise owner explains the reasons that led her to join the Daoust/Forget group back in June 2018.
What were the 3 determining criteria in the choice of your franchises?
I’ve evaluated several options before deciding to join the Daoust/Forget group. Multiple criterias came into play during my reflexion, and although I have never worked as a cleaner, my choice has stopped on opening a cleaning franchise for many reasons. First off, I wanted an existing store with an established clientele. This was a very reassuring element for me, as this is only my second entrepreneurial adventure.
Having the protection of the environment at heart, I was also looking for an innovative concept in line with my eco-responsible values. I also wanted to get involved in my community and participate in the life of my neighborhood by operating a store close to its clientele. Being a resident of the Plateau Mont-Royal, this location was an opportunity I couldn’t miss considering that it met all of my criteria.
What makes you the most proud of as a Daoust Efficient Cleaners franchisee?
I am the proud ambassador of a brand that has challenged the environmental impact of the dry cleaning industry to become the pioneer of a 100% green solution. It goes hand in hand with my environmental values.
What was your biggest challenges?
When the Daoust/Forget group started its green shift, and that I chose to take over this store, which used to be a standard dry cleaner, the project was to undertake the complete transformation of the branch while keeping it operational. This transition took only a few months, and I’m proud to have been able to come through this challenge while keeping the store running.
Can you explain what this transformation implies?
First of all, the transition from dry cleaner to green cleaner changing all the cleaning units was a major part of this transition. The equipment required for the Wet-Cleaning technology are machines with fully automated programs to clean all types of textiles. This process does not use any chemical solvents, such as perchloroethylene, that are harmful to our health. Our packer uses only recyclable plastic made from pine resin and many of our customers prefer to use a reusable cover, which is also available at our shop.
How did your employees adapted to these changes?
The transformation was well received by the employees, even if the new equipment installed has drastically changed their working methods and only positive came out from my team as the transition came to completion : as the models are now robotic, working is so much easier for them, which has had a considerable impact on their productivity. It’s also easier for training new employees, since the different cleaning programs are now automated. Finally, since green cleaning does not use any traditional hydrocarbon-based cleaning processes, employees do not have to handle solvents or breathe in chemical fumes. The work environment is therefore much safer.
What environmental benefits have you noticed as a result of this transition?
First of all, the residents of the building we occupy as well as our neighbors no longer have a noise nuisance and the risks on their health are reduced with the elimination of PERC. Then, I’ve noticed that I produce practically no waste : the biodegradable soap containers are taken back by our sole supplier and the paper we use, made of recycled paper, is 100% recyclable. Finally, my energy consumption (in kWh) has decreased by about 20% which is also a considerable economic benefit!
Actually, what was the impact from an economic point of view?
Being a green cleaner allows me to increase my clientele by 15% serving a new segment of customers with an environmental consciousness attracted by the ecological aspect of my branch. The reduced energy consumption also allows me to make additional savings. Above all, my income has increased by 25% since the transformation.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m fully committed to the values of my business and I’m proud that the positive impact on the environment is real. It makes me want to continue – and why not open more Daoust Ecoefficient Cleaners cleaning franchises!