Zelda and Martin met when Martin took the job of night manager of the Coffee Shop at Douglas Airport in Charlotte, NC. She had turned the job down, choosing to remain in the variety of; relief manager, relief hostess and relief cashier. It was her job to "train" Martin at the restaurant. That was on Wednesday, Martin took Zelda home on Sunday. We were married three months later.
Tired of the nights and week-ends of food service, I went back to construction where I had worked during college. Zelda went to middle management with a clothing chain. Then over Thanksgiving of 1980 the seed was planted for me to return to the drycleaning business.
I came to the cleaners exactly forty years after mom and dad had opened. I had grown-up helping out at the plant. I had done every job in the place, but one. "Spotting" (individual stain removal) was something dad did not trust anyone else to do. So, I started what amounted to an apprenticeship with my dad. In his heart the business was theirs. They had built it from the ground up. No documents were going to change his loyalty to the customers. He worked along side me until 1998 at age 81.
I drove from Charlotte to Concord for four years, then bought a house and moved in 1985. It was about this time that I began to get recognized as "Luke Young's Son" and getting questioned about our techniques and procedures. Dad had built a great reputation among his fellow cleaners.
In the summer of 1989 came a situation that changed my perspective. I was asked to travel to a city over two hours away to train another cleaners "spotters", for free. I sent him a contract, some business cards I had printed, and a proposal. FabriCounsel was born. The training and consulting part of Young Cleaners.
Young Cleaners was voted "Best Drycleaner" in the newspaper poll for nine consecutive years; beginning with its inception in 1995, through 2003. After three years as runner-up, 2004 - 2006, Young Cleaners was been voted "Best Drycleaner" in 2007 and again in 2008. No other cleaner in the county has more than one award.
I am active in the North Carolina Association a Launderers and Cleaners including serving as President from 2004 to 2006. I continue to travel the eastern seaboard as a trainer and consultant for trade associations and individual cleaners. This travel is a product of Zelda's ability to cover for me while I travel.