TRSA (Textile Rental Services Association of America) Textile Rental Weekly
From its start as a single dry cleaning store in Richmond, VA in the mid-1950s, HandCraft Services is becoming one of the fastest rising textile service companies in the nation. While the business has changed dramatically, including the opening of a new 60,000 sq. ft. facility last month, what remains at its core is a strong family.
At the new plant’s official opening on Nov. 25 in Richmond, the strength of this growing company was on display. HandCraft Services President Keith M. Nichols; President, Sales & Marketing Jeff Nichols and Vice President John J. Nichols welcomed more than 100 customers, dignitaries, friends and family members for the dedication. Their brother, Fr. Neal A. Nichols, blessed the facility, as each of their families looked on. The family’s matriarch, Mrs. John A. Nichols, widow of founder John Nichols, received congratulations from those in attendance.
“We are proud to carry out our father’s legacy of hard work, exemplary service, and forward thinking,” Keith Nichols said.
The entire Nichols family has reason to be proud. The facility is already worthy of being in the ranks of one of the best healthcare laundries in the country. With a fully automated wash aisle, energy efficient equipment, and an innovative design for the flatwork department, the facility will process more than 50 million pounds of textiles each year.
“This building has been our collective passion for the last decade,” Keith Nichols said. “It embodies the best of how innovation and technology can affect the design of a building, and how the design of a building can transform the process that takes place within its walls.”
TRSA President and CEO Roger Cocivera, who was at the opening with TRSA Vice President George Ferencz, Director of Government Affairs Larry Fineran and Director of Federal Affairs Tony Wagner, praised HandCraft’s accomplishment.
“The Nichols family has grown their business into one of the major healthcare textile service companies in the country,” says Cocivera. “This new plant is a testament to that growth and a sign of their dedication to remain a competitive force in our industry.”
Even for those not in the industry, the plant was impressive in its scale and automation. Virginia Lt. Gov. William T. “Bill” Bolling, who was on hand for dedication, praised what HandCraft is doing to keep healthcare affordable in the Commonwealth.
“During my term as lieutenant governor I have worked to create jobs, grow our economy and improve healthcare delivery for all Virginians,” Bolling said. “HandCraft Services supports this mission by helping hospitals reduce costs and increase efficiency, thereby being able to allocate more resources to patient care.”
City of Richmond’s director of economic development, Carthan F. Currin, III, also was at the dedication, thanking the Nichols for keeping work in the city. “The City is proud to see this Richmond company of over 40 years expanding their operations to meet new local and regional business opportunities in healthcare linen services.”
Read more about the new HandCraft Services plant in an upcoming issue of Textile Rental.