When David Sangsida moved to Portland from Thailand thirty years ago, he had no idea that he would someday own a dry cleaning business. He and most of the men in his family were professional boxers, in the Muay Thai tradition.
In fact, Sangsida himself began boxing at age fifteen, and continued for ten years. Even after he moved to Portland and went to work at Tektronix, he continued to do some boxing at Thai festivals at PSU and at the Portland Zoo.
After ten years in the high-tech industry Sangsida was encouraged by an American friend to buy into a One Hour Martinizing Dry Cleaning franchise, where he learned the ropes of the business. Two years later in 1986 he opened his own business, Eastmoreland Cleaners, at S.E. 41st and Woodstock Boulevard.
'I was the first business here,' he says, describing his location in the mini-mall called Woodstock Square. 'There were no trees on the boulevard, and Davidson's Restaurant was across the street.'
Now he is moving the business two neighborhoods north--to the north side of Powell Boulevard, just east of 39th Avenue, making room for John L. Scott Realty's expansion at Woodstock Square.
'I have loved this location,' Sangsida says wistfully, of his spot at the western edge of the Woodstock neighborhood. He is hoping that his customers will continue their business with him in spite of the move.
Brenda Braxton, Northwest News Channel 8 anchor and Eastmoreland resident, says she started going to Eastmoreland Cleaners because it was close by but kept coming back because of the service. 'What I like is their personal attention. I wear suits every day, and I'm always marking scripts, so I'm forever getting ink on me--or makeup. David always gets things clean, and he's super accommodating. If it doesn't come out the first time, he'll re-do it. If I say I need something on short notice, he gets it done more quickly. I'll definitely follow his business to Powell Blvd,' Braxton says.
The new dry cleaning location, which will still be called Eastmoreland Cleaners, will be located next to HoHo Restaurant, in a spot that was formerly Shamrock Laundry and Dry Cleaning. Sangsida says the square-footage is about double that of his current location.
Asked what he likes about his current dry cleaning business, he responds, 'We have had no bad checks in ten years.' Asked why he thinks his customers will continue to patronize his business at the new location, he adds, matter-of-factly, 'We do a quality job.'
Eastmoreland Cleaners will be open at its new location on S.E. 39th just north of Powell Boulevard this month.