SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -When business has been good for more than seven decades, you have to be doing something right.
Curry’s Dry Cleaners is celebrating a diamond anniversary as the Savannah staple began business four generations ago, back during World War Two.
The dry cleaners is now in its 75th year of business, and that’s not an easy thing to do. John and Lisa Curry were in the same kindergarten class and dated in high school before getting married. They, along with their daughter Emily, now run the shop.
“I think it’s just we treat our customers like family and friends, we build relationships through the years, we’ve got grandchildren that their grandparents were our customers," said John Curry. "We just try to keep it going.”
“We have a motto that says, ‘When You Care It Shows,’ and we do that with our customers," said Lisa Curry. "We like to get to know them, that way they can talk freely with us, about anything that they might need, and we’ve watched their kids grow up, and they’ve gotten married and had kids, and they’ve done the same with us.”
The first store was at 4 West Bryan Street. H.Y. Curry learned his trade in Chicago and opened what was called a modern tailoring establishment. After a brief stint on Bull Street, they moved to 39th and Harmon where Herb Senior ran the business. John has fond memories as a kid in his dad’s place.
“We had a cold storage back then, with fur coats, and as a child going through there, feeling the furs and walking through there, that was pretty neat," Curry said. "We had some great employees back then, as a child growing up, I looked at them, and kinda wanted to be like them, just had some good fond memories of Mrs. Willie, and Moses.”
The store then moved to DeRenne Avenue in the early seventies. That’s when Gertie Johnson came on, and helped raise the Curry kids, and their kids.
“Yes she has, she’s been here forty-two years, my oldest one is thirty-one so, she has been here to see them all born and raised. My brother and I grew up with Mrs. Gurdy’s boys and she’s like a second mom to me, she keeps me straight, between her and my wife I try to stay on the straight and narrow.”
But the man that had the most to do with the success of Curry's is Herb Curry. The family lost their mentor back in 2009, but the memory of John's dad still drives the store.
“If I could be like him, in some ways, never be as good as him probably, but if I could be like him in some ways, I would like to know that is my success story.”
John and Lisa recently welcomed their first grandchild, so they may have the fifth generation in line to take over.