Browsing Tag


3 posts

Why So Many Koreans Own Dry Cleaners in America

Chances are if you’ve ever taken your silk or wool garments to a dry cleaners, you may have noticed at some point that the person behind the counter is Korean. Similarly to why so many nail salons are run by Vietnamese people, we wanted to figure out what drew Koreans to the business of clean linen and crisp suits.

It is not a new or unusual phenomenon for a group of people to specialize in a specific industry. A study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research explains that tight-knit immigrant groups stay within their communities and network, which leads to the sharing and inheritance of similar skills and businesses. For Koreans and dry cleaners, it started in the late 1970s when large numbers of Koreans immigrated to America, specifically New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles. With a language barrier, limited resources, and lack of certifications and education needed for career opportunities in the U.S, many Korean immigrants took up jobs in produce and learned skills such as sewing.

The Oldest Chinese Laundry Shop in the U.S. Closes Its Doors Forever

well-loved establishment that has been a part of the close-knit community in San Mateo, California for almost a century and a half, has recently closed its doors, marking a bittersweet end of an era. After 140 years in operation, Ching Lee Laundry, the oldest Chinese-owned laundromat in the United States has made its final farewell to its loyal customers on Saturday.

Longtime patrons came to visit and say goodbye to the shop that has, for generations, been run by the same family. Bearing gifts and stories, visitors filled the old laundry place which generated an emotional vibe for the owners’ family members.