Lee Fat, one of the first Chinese to come to the Bahamas, began the Lee dynasty in 1927 when he opened a laundry on Marlborough and Bay Street. Future locations were at Bay and Dunmore Lane (present site of Central Furniture) and then Shirley Street on the site formerly occupied by Kelly’s Bakery. Then to Bay Street on the site now occupied by Hoffer & Sons where the establishment was known as the Central Laundry and also where Lee Fat passed away in 1953 and the eldest son Vernal had his first taste of the Laundry industry.
Vernal also owned a small restaurant named “The Greasy Spoon” which was located on Bay Street at what is now the office of Bethell Estates. After a fire destroyed the Central Laundry in 1953, contributing to the death of Lee Fat, Vernal attempted to start over by opening the Swan Laundry on East Bay Street. Unfortunately this venture was not successful.
During the following years Vernal headed the Lofthouse Group and managed the Bahamian News and the Lofthouse gift shops. Under his leadership the Group experienced rapid growth in all areas.
In 1960, Vernal along with his brother Henry ventured into the laundry field again when they purchased another Chinese hand laundry called “Oriental Laundry” which was owned and operated by John Chea and his sons. This laundry was located on Deveaux Street next to Cut Rate Cleaners. They renamed their new company “New Oriental Laundry.” In 1961, Vernal left the Lofthouse Group to actively manage his own business. Henry joined him a few months later. In 1964, New Oriental Laundry & Cleaners, Ltd. relocated to a former bowling alley on Shirley Street with much more room to expand. Modern dry cleaning equipment was purchased and installed and up to date professional dry cleaning methods were truly introduced to the Bahamas.
In 1968, New Oriental Linen was formed to provide commercial laundry and linen and uniform rental service to establishments such as hotels and other large businesses. This side of New Oriental was phased out a few years later when it became unprofitable and harmful to the rest of the business.
In 1970, Vernal and Henry purchased controlling shares in Bahamian News Limited, and in 1972 did the same with Island Merchants Limited. The “Leeco” Group of Companies included Do Drop In Cleaners, Island Merchants Limited, Lee’s Book Center, and New Oriental Laundry and Cleaners Limited with nine locations and about one hundred and forty (140) employees.
Vernal passed away on July 4th 1988. The Leeco Group is now headed by Henry, who sits as chairman of the various companies and as president of New Oriental Cleaners. Henry’s daughter Lana oversees the laundry operations.
We are in the business of dry cleaning. Dry cleaning is simply the use of fluids to remove soil and stains from fabric. It is called “dry cleaning” because the fluids contain little or no water and do not penetrate the fibers as water does. Even though we do some washing of shirts and jeans, our service is mostly called upon for those garments that cannot be safely washed or when stains occur that cannot be safely removed with water. We maintain formal training and in some cases retraining of managers and dry cleaners in New Oriental. This enables us to remain at the forefront of our industry. Compared to the competition, our service is number one and will remain that way as long as we consistently strive for and provide high quality cleaning and finishing. Our strategy for dominating the competition is quality. New Oriental Cleaners’ target market includes all of Nassau.
Our vision and mission statements play an important role in our Company; we our guided by them to help us achieve our goals and objectives. Please take the time to learn these statements.
Quality garment care, friendly service and satisfied customers guaranteed everyday.
Our Mission is to provide quality garment care services. We accomplish this fostering a spirit of team work, providing continuous training with a commitment to consistently deliver superior customer experiences. We will exceed profitability targets by maximizing operation efficiency while respecting our environment. As we satisfy our customers, our goal is to provide security and stability for our team members, build value for our shareholders and positively impact our community.
OUR CORE VALUES
Quality garment care
A spirit of teamwork
Satisfy customers every day
Exceed profitability targets
Looking Good is Our Pride and Joy
What this motto should mean to you:
I will always be looking good and smiling with pride and joy whenever I meet my customer and will always thank them for their business.
I will handle my customers' garments with extra care at all times.
I will exceed my customers' expectations in service and quality, so that they will be happy and satisfied.
I will treat my co-workers with respect and contribute to team play.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION In 2003, we achieved the International Award and "Seal of Approval" from the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute.
Environmentally friendly dry cleaning services. We use Faultless by Nature cleaning chemicals so that your clothes stay clean and fresh!
We’re part of the community. We currently employ over 100 Bahamians and during the recent economic down turn, we promised our employees that no one would lose their job due to a slow economy. We still hold that near and dear to our hearts and believe that our employees are what makes our company a truly special place!